Candace Cameron Bure is speaking out amid major backlash. In a statement to ET on Wednesday, the 46-year-old actress addressed her recent comments about Great American Family's focus on telling stories about "traditional marriage."
"I would like to address my comments on Great American Family's programming as reported in the Wall Street Journal. All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone," Bure's statement read. "It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn't be surprised."
"We need Christmas more than ever. I am a devoted Christian. Which means that I believe that every human being bears the image of God. Because of that, I am called to love all people, and I do," the statement continued. "If you know me, you know that I am a person who loves fiercely and indiscriminately. My heart yearns to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God's huge love for all of us."
Bure continued, "To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you."
Bure additionally noted that she has "long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programming" and is "grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network."
"I had also expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities have and will continue to contribute to the network in great ways both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support," the statement continued. "I've never been interested in proselytizing through my storytelling, but in celebrating God’s greatness in our lives through the stories I tell. The God we serve is a wildly creative and loving God. He didn’t just capture a small part of my heart, He has captured all of my heart. He will be reflected in everything I do and say; in my family, my work and my interactions with people from all walks of life, God’s love and God’s compassion is front and center."
"All of that comes from the LOVE that God himself showered upon humanity when he gave the gift of joy and forgiveness on the first Christmas morning 2000 years ago. It is why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world," her statement concluded. "And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you’ll join me in sharing God's hope for all the world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish."
Bure's response to the controversy came the day after her 24-year-old daughter, Natasha, publicly supported her on Instagram.
"The media is an absolutely VILE space for negativity and I applaud you every time for how you handle yourself with the utmost grace," she wrote in part. "As they continuously twist the narrative to beat down on the Kingdom, you stand firm in faith and never let others dim your light for Him."
"No matter how out of context or warped the words may get, the enemy will not prevail. Society has gotten completely out of hand with believing every strategically worded headline broadcasted by the media…followed by cancel culture which is nothing but ugly. It is so incredibly sad to watch," the younger Bure continued. "I am lucky to get to view you from a lense [sic] closer than most, and see how you are truly the real deal. The Lord shines through you time and time again. The battle is HIS."
This all started when Bure left the Hallmark Channel, who has aired LGBTQ stories in recent years, in favor of Great American Family, a Christian conservative network that was started by former Hallmark exec Bill Abbott. In an interview with WSJ. Magazine earlier this month, Bure explained her reasons for the move.
"My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them," she said. "I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment."
"I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core," Bure added. "I want to be able to tell that story in a beautiful way, but also that is not off-putting to the unbeliever or someone who shares a different faith."
Her comments quickly drew criticism. Hilarie Burton called Bure a "bigot" on Twitter, writing, "I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy. But sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank."
"Now they’re just openly admitting their bigotry. I called this s**t out years ago when Abbott was at Hallmark," Burton added. "Glad they dumped him. Being LGBTQ isn’t a 'trend.' That guy and his network are disgusting. You too Candy. There is nothing untraditional about same-sex couples."
"Honestly, I can’t believe after everything that went down just a few months ago, that she would not only create a movie with intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then also talk about it in the press," Siwa wrote. "This is rude and hurtful to a whole community of people."
The non-profit organization Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) shared a statement with ET in response to Bure's interview and Great American Family's programming.
"If GAF's plan is to intentionally exclude stories about LGBTQ couples," the organization said, "then actors, advertisers, cable and streaming platforms and production companies should take note and seriously consider whether they want to be associated with a network that holds exclusion as one of its values."
GLAAD's President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis extended an invitation for Bure to discuss the impact of her interview.
"It's irresponsible and hurtful for Candace Cameron Bure to use tradition as a guise for exclusion. I'd love to have a conversation with Bure about my wife, our kids, and our family's traditions," Ellis said. "Bure is out of sync with a growing majority of people of faith, including LGBTQ people of faith, who know that LGBTQ couples and families are deserving of love and visibility."