Hallmark Channel Fires Lori Loughlin from ‘When Calls the Heart’ and ‘Garage Sale Mysteries’
The Hallmark Channel has cut ties with When Calls the Heart actress Lori Loughlin after she was arrested in connection with a college admissions bribery scheme. The network made the announcement Thursday.
“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” Crown Media, Hallmark’s parent company, said in a statement reported by Variety. “We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin including Garage Sale Mysteries, an independent third party production.”
Loughlin was a major Hallmark star
Loughlin first gained fame for her role as Aunt Becky on the show Full House in the late 1980s. But in recent years, she also became one of the biggest stars on the Hallmark Channel, where she appeared in the popular drama When Calls the Heart as Mayor Abigail Stanton, in multiple made-for-TV holiday movies, and on the Garage Sale Mysteries series, which airs on the network’s sister channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
The Hallmark Channel is known for its feel-good, family-friendly programming. When Calls the Heart, for example, is based on a series of Christian romance novels by Janette Oke. After Loughlin’s involvement in the scandal was revealed, some fans urged the network to cut ties, saying she no longer a fit with the values of the show and Hallmark.
Still, fans had mixed reactions to the news of Loughlin’s firing. On the Hallmark Channel’s Facebook page, some praised the decision, while others felt there had been a rush to judge. Many were worried about what it would mean for the future of When Calls the Heart. The network has not made any announcement about the future of that show without Loughlin’s involvement. [Update: Hallmark Channel has said that it will not air the March 17 episode of When Calls the Heart, but that the show is not canceled.]
What is Loughlin accused of doing?
Loughlin was reportedly filming a new installment of Garage Sale Mysteries in Canada when news of her indictment broke. She flew home to Los Angeles and was taken into custody.
Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts allege that the actress, along with her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, paid $500,000 to have their two daughters designated as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team in order to gain admission to the elite private school. Neither daughter was actually involved in the sport.
Loughlin and Giannulli are two of dozens of wealthy parents swept up in the investigation, which the U.S. Attorney’s office dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” Actress Felicity Huffman was also arrested for participating in the scheme.
Loughlin and her husband are each free on $1 million bond.
Daughter Olivia Jade loses her Sephora contract
Loughlin and Giannulli aren’t the only members of their family facing fallout from the college admissions scandal. Daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli has a career as a social media influencer and beauty vlogger. But companies that partnered with her are cutting ties.
The 19-year-old had a line of makeup palettes through Sephora, but the company has severed its relationship with her. The palettes are no longer for sale on the Sephora website.
“After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately,” the company told CNN.
Hewlett Packard also pulled an advertisement featuring Loughlin and Olivia Jade. Lulus, a fashion retailer, told Variety that it planned to end its relationship with the influencer, who has also partnered with Amazon, Dolce & Gabbana, Smashbox, and other companies.
TMZ is reporting that both Olivia Jade and her sister Isabella Rose Gianulli plan to withdraw from USC.
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