Candace Cameron Bure and HIlarie Burton
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for AMC, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BMI

Candace Cameron Bure Explains Why She Left Hallmark, and Former Hallmark Star Hilarie Burton Reacts

When actress Candace Cameron Bure announced in April that she was stepping away from the Hallmark Channel to move over to Great American Family, fans were shocked. Since 2008, Bure has essentially been the face of the network, making an abundance of charming, made-for-TV holiday films. She made 30 movies for Hallmark, 18 of which belonged to the Aurora Teagarden franchise. That's nothing to sneeze at. So when she decided to jump ship, that certainly got people talking.

Until recently, Bure hasn't said much about why she made the decision to move. In a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, she revealed that her decision to leave after a decade of creating content with the channel was essentially faith-based:

"My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them," Bure 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." She also noted that GAC, where she had moved, wouldn't feature same-sex couples in the same way the Hallmark Channel had begun doing ahead of her departure.

"I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core," she added. Her opinions are largely in step with Bill Abbott, chief executive at Great American Media, who held the same role at Hallmark Channel. He departed the channel in the same manner after the network ran and then pulled ads for a wedding company called Zola featuring two brides kissing on their special day.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Actress Candace Cameron Bure attends the 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Bure demurred from talking about the real reasons behind her actual departure from the Hallmark Channel, however, noting that her decision to leave had something to do with the network being "completely different" from when she started working there.

None of this sat well with actress Hilarie Burton Morgan, who previously acted in Hallmark Channel movies herself. She took to Twitter to slam Bure as well as Abbott and his previous role at the network.

"Now they're just openly admitting their bigotry," she wrote. "I called this s—- out years ago when Abbott was at Hallmark. 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." She followed up with another tweet afterward.

"Bigot," she called Bure. "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." The former Hallmark star noted in a string of previous tweets that she had previously asked to have a project feature an "LGBTQ character, an interracial couple and diverse casting," and ended up walking away in January 2019 after her requests were essentially denied. She was told at the time to "take it or leave it," and she chose to leave, heading to Lifetime.

Dancer/singer JoJo Siwa also took to Instagram to share her thoughts on Bure's statements following her claims that Bure was one of the "rudest" celebrities she had ever met. She expressed incredulity over the situation, calling the actress "rude and hurtful."

"Honestly, I can't believe after everything that went down just a few months ago, that she would not only create a movie with the 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."

Bure hasn't commented on Burton or Siwa's callouts.

Meanwhile, Bure's first Christmas film for Great American Family, A Christmas...Present, is set to premiere this month. It will follow Bure as Maggie Larson, a real estate agent and mom who spends Christmas with her widowed brother and his daughter. While there, Larson relearns what the true spirit of Christmas is all about.

READ MORE: Candace Cameron Bure's Lookalike Daughter Natasha Is Following In Her Footsteps