Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.
Hallmark Media CEO Wonya Lucas, Key to LGBTQ-Inclusive Shift, Set to Resign
Hallmark Media’s CEO, Wonya Lucas, who played a pivotal role in guiding the company through a transformation marked by the inclusion of LGBTQ-friendly narratives, has announced her intention to step down from her position. As outlined in a recent report from The Hollywood Reporter, Lucas will continue in her role until the conclusion of the year and will retain her seat on the Hallmark Media board of directors. Overseeing the transition in her departure will be Mike Perry, CEO of Hallmark Companies.
Wonya Lucas, CEO of Hallmark Media, expressed her appreciation and pride in leading the company’s transformative journey, marked by the creation of an enriched entertainment platform that fosters profound and emotionally resonant experiences for viewers. In a statement, Lucas conveyed her gratitude, stating, “I am honored to have led this company and am tremendously proud of the progress we’ve made by creating an evolved entertainment experience that inspires meaningful, emotionally connected moments for our audiences.” She also emphasized her enduring commitment to the Hallmark brand, sharing that her passion for it has grown in significant and rewarding ways. Lucas affirmed her continued involvement in shaping Hallmark Media’s future, albeit in a more strategically focused capacity, as she looks ahead to the next chapter.
In 2020, Wonya Lucas assumed the role of CEO at Hallmark, transitioning from her previous position at TV One. Her appointment came in the wake of a controversy involving Hallmark Channel’s removal of a commercial featuring a same-sex couple. Taking the reins from former CEO and President Bill Abbott, Lucas embarked on a mission to enhance “representation” as a priority during her tenure.
Lucas’ appointment was accompanied by a commitment from Hallmark Channel, led by Mike Perry, to collaborate with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) in order to cultivate an environment of inclusivity and amplify diverse narratives. Under Lucas’ leadership, the network introduced several LGBTQ+ supporting characters and marked a significant milestone with the premiere of its first feature film centered on a same-sex relationship.
While championing diverse and “inclusive” programming, Lucas, who is the niece of late baseball icon Hank Aaron, also presided over significant changes that led to the departure of several prominent figures within the network.
Candace Cameron Bure, renowned for her prominent roles in Hallmark Channel’s holiday films and the Aurora Teagarden mystery series, made a notable announcement in 2022. She revealed her decision to join the new endeavor led by former CEO Bill Abbott, titled Great American Family. This new venture is committed to highlighting traditional marriage and faith-based narratives, reflecting a distinctive focus that aligns with Bure’s personal values.