According to feminist Amanda Marcotte, a “politics” writer at Salon, Hallmark Channel movies are “fascist propaganda” filled with “shiny-teethed, blow-dried heteronormative whiteness.”
“Hallmark movies, as cloying and saccharine as they are, constitute the platonic ideal of fascist propaganda,” Marcotte posits in a think piece for Salon published on Christmas day.
The predictable romantic comedies always center around “MAGA-style ideas about what constitutes ‘real’ America,'” the feminist complains, adding, “Their money comes from selling a vision of America that increasingly authoritarian conservatives wish to believe once existed and can be restored again — an America that excludes most of an increasingly urban, racially diverse, cosmopolitan nation.”
If you were unaware that your sweet 60-year-old mother was consuming fascist propaganda in enormous quantities, particularly during the holidays, that’s likely because the fascist messaging is applied subtly, just like they did in Nazi Germany, the feminist explains:
When most of us think about fascistically propagandistic movies, we think of the grotesque grandeur of Leni Riefenstahl’s films celebrating the Third Reich — grand, but cold sweeping shots of soldiers goose-stepping and flags waving, all meant to inspire awe and terror. But the reality is, even in Nazi Germany, the majority of movies approved by the Nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, were escapist and feather-light, with a Hallmark movie-style emphasis on the importance of “normality.”
Kate, a workaholic who finally made partner, getting stranded in her hometown during the holidays only to predictably fall in love with the sweet, simple boy next door seems harmless, but that’s all part of developing an “authoritarian worldview,” warns Marcotte.
“There’s plenty of reason that empty-headed kitsch fits neatly in the authoritarian worldview,” she writes. “It’s storytelling that imitates the gestures of emotion without actually engaging with real feeling. The Hallmark movie steers clear of the real passion or deeper emotion that tends to be the engine driving more artful fiction. Characters who have real feelings, after all, can prompt empathetic reactions in the audience, and empathy for others is the greatest single threat to the authoritarian mindset. And so schmaltz walks through the paces of ‘love’ without touching on any of the messy but compelling realities of it.”
Marcotte’s screed against Hallmark Channel movies comes on the heels of a lesbian kiss controversy surrounding the channel.
As reported by The Daily Wire, a #BoycottHallmarkChannel hashtag trended easier this month after The New York Times reported that the channel pulled four ads from wedding planning and registry website Zola that featured a same-sex marriage kiss. The company was pressured by activist family group One Million Moms, which denounced the lesbian kiss as inappropriate for the “family-friendly” channel.
Hallmark, however, ultimately caved to left-wing pressures after initially pulling the ad.
“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused,” CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc. Mike Perry said in a statement. “Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision. Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives. Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused. … Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences.”