Hallmark rep denies Hilarie Burton ever worked for network following inclusivity claims

Hilarie Burton

A representative for the Hallmark Channel has denied Hilarie Burton ever worked for the company after she alleged she was once "let go" from a project after making complaints about inclusivity.

The network came under fire over the weekend for removing a commercial from wedding registry company Zola that featured a same-sex couple.

The former One Tree Hill actress was among the stars who took to social media to have their say on the scandal and proceeded to dig up emails from the network dating back to January.

"Just going through some old emails from a #Hallmark job I was 'let go' from back in January. I had insisted on a LGBTQ character, an interracial couple and diverse casting," she tweeted. "I was polite, direct and professional. But after the execs gave their notes on the script and NONE of my requests were honoured, I was told 'take it or leave it.'"

"I left it. And the paycheck. S**tty being penalised for standing up for inclusivity."

However, a representative for the network insisted Burton was never associated with any project, telling Fox News: "Hilarie Burton was not an employee of Crown Media Family Networks."

While Burton has yet to respond to the claims, Hallmark chief executive officer Mike Perry previously admitted bosses at Crown Media Family Networks, which owns Hallmark, had made a mistake in withdrawing the ads.

"As the CEO of Hallmark, I am sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused," he said. "The Hallmark Channel will be reaching out to Zola to re-establish our partnership and reinstate the commercials."


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