Hallmark Channel Apologizes for Airing Awards Show Censoring “Unplanned,” Will Air Uncensored Version

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 5, 2020   |   4:25PM   |   Washington, DC

The Hallmark Channel will air an awards show featuring the pro-life film “Unplanned” after all.

Earlier this week, actress Ashley Bratcher, who stars in the film, accused the popular channel of cutting out all mentions of the film during its recent broadcast of the Movieguide Awards show. “Unplanned” was nominated for three Movieguide Awards.

Later, however, Abby Johnson, on whom the film is based, said it was Movieguide that censored the film.

On Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reported Movieguide took responsibility for the cuts.

Responding to public outrage, the awards group admitted that it cut all mentions of the film from its broadcast. However, it did not explain why.

According to the report: “Movieguide has taken responsibility for cutting ‘Unplanned’ from the broadcast that aired on Hallmark Drama. ‘We made some decisions,’ Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide, said. ‘We may have made some wrong decisions, but we’ve made decisions.’”

However, another Movieguide spokesperson told ChurchPop that Hallmark directed them to edit the broadcast.

The report continues:

Movieguide president and COO Robby Baehr said Hallmark directed videographer Jeremy Carroll in the final edits for broadcast.

“The broadcast was cut and edited by us under direction by Hallmark Channel and their representatives. All final creative approval was done by Hallmark and not Movieguide or its editor Jeremy Carroll,” Robby Baehr said.

Hallmark agreed to re-air the awards show with the “Unplanned” nominations at 10 p.m. March 9.

Bratcher thanked the channel for doing the right thing.

“Hallmark has gone on the record & the MovieGuide Awards will re-air to include Unplanned’s nominations …” she wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “Please be sure to tune in or stream on the Hallmark app! I have received & accepted apologies. Extend grace, my friends. Thanks to all.”

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In a statement to the Examiner, Hallmark also apologized to Bratcher and promised to re-air the show.

“We have scheduled the MOVIEGUIDE® Awards to re-air on Hallmark Drama on Monday, March 9th at 10 PM,” a spokeswoman said in an email. “It will also be available on the TV Everywhere app. All telecasts will include mentions of the film, ‘Unplanned’ and its lead actress, Ashley Bratcher. We at Crown Media extend our sincere apologies to Ms. Bratcher.”

The Movieguide Awards celebrate excellence in Christian and family-friendly entertainment. “Unplanned” received three nominations this year: the Faith & Freedom Award for Movies, Best Movie for Mature Audiences and the Grace Award for Bratcher’s performance.

“Unplanned” is based on the true story of Planned Parenthood director-turned pro-life advocate Abby Johnson. Despite censorship and a media blackout, the film debuted in the top 10 films in the U.S. last spring.

Just prior to its release, the producers said Hallmark, Lifetime and HGTV refused to run their ads promoting the film.

ACTION: Thank the Hallmark Channel (owned by Crown Media) for agreeing to re-air the show.