Neal Bledsoe Cuts Ties With Great American Family After Candace Cameron Bure’s Controversial Comments
Neal Bledsoe is taking a stand. The actor has cut ties with Great American Family following star Candace Cameron Bure’s controversial comments about the network’s intention to exclude LGBTQ relationships from its movies.
Neal Bledsoe says he can’t continue to work with Great American Family
Bledsoe has starred in two films for Great American Family. In early 2022, he appeared in The Winter Palace alongside The Wonder Years alum Danica McKellar. His second movie for the channel, Christmas at the Drive-In, aired over Thanksgiving weekend and also co-starred McKellar. But he won’t be appearing in any more of the network’s rom-coms.
On Dec. 5, Bledsoe took to Instagram to share that he’d decided not to work with the faith-based network in the future. The actor’s move came shortly after Bure made a statement indicating that Great American Family would not feature LGTBQ couples in any of its movies. Instead, the channel would “keep traditional marriage at the core,” she told The Wall Street Journal. (Bure not only appears in Great American Family movies but is also the network’s chief creative officer.)
Bure’s comments didn’t sit right with Bledsoe, who decided he had to speak up.
“I cannot take comfort from, nor will I give refuge to, those who excuse exclusion and promote division in any way, shape, or form,” Bledsoe wrote in a statement.
He went on to say:
“Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, and these are mine: the recent comments made by leadership at Great American Family are hurtful, wrong, and reflect an ideology that prioritizes judgment over love. I was raised as a Christian, and believe in the essential message of love and forgiveness. That said, I could never forgive myself for continuing my relationship with a network that actively chooses to exclude the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Bledsoe says he owes a ‘debt’ to the LGBTQIA+ community
In his lengthy statement, Bledsoe reflected on why he felt compelled to decline any future work with Great American Family. His reasons are deeply personal.
“My life wouldn’t be where it is today without the love, support, and guidance of the LGBTQIA+ community,” he wrote, highlighting his relationships with family, friends, and colleagues over the years.
“I owe them a great debt,” he added. “As someone who struggled as a young man with our society’s extremely narrow definition of masculinity, it was their community that provided me with refuge and a guiding light when my life felt lost. And now, if I cannot stand up for that community in their time of need, my debt to them means nothing.”
Bledsoe’s full statement was posted to his Instagram Story; he also shared it with Variety.
Bledsoe is the first actor to quit working with Great American Family because of its anti-LGBTQ stance
After Bure’s Wall Street Journal interview, a number of people spoke out against Great American Family and the Fuller House alum, including Hilarie Burton and JoJo Siwa. But Bledsoe is the first actor with ties to Great American Family to come out and say that he won’t work with the channel moving forward.
Paul Greene has also worked with Great American Family and co-starred with Bure in Hallmark’s 2016 movie A Christmas Detour. In a recent interview with TV Insider, he said that he was standing by his friend and that he felt the media had taken some of her comments out of context.
“I know who she is. At her heart. Her friend and manager are a part of the LGBTQ community,” he said. “She is amazing. She is loving to all people … I don’t agree with everything she does, and I don’t disagree with everything she does. I just wish the media was fair enough to put in her whole statement. That’s what people need to know. That Candace truly loves people.”
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