The Hallmark Channel is a staple of the holiday season. Whether they’re screening Christmas classics or new favorites, the network releases a slew of original films to enjoy. This year, Hallmark is set to release 40 new holiday movies to their channel, and among those is a very special first for the network – a gay Christmas rom-com!
Something highly awaited and wished for by the LGBTQ+ community is rom-coms starring queer couples. When you’re a fan of Hallmark movies, seeing a gay couple in a beloved holiday medium is a dream come true. With Hallmark delivering its first-ever gay Christmas rom-com this season, we’re excited to learn more about the history-making movie The Holiday Sitter!
Like many Hallmark movies, The Holiday Sitter is filled with beloved tropes and holiday goodness. Found family, a handsome neighbor, cute kids, and holiday romance – what more could we ask for? Not to mention the leads, Sam and Jason, are very fit for the Hallmark brand.
The summary on Hallmark’s page for The Holiday Sitter states:
As the first Hallmark film to feature a leading gay couple, we’re excited to learn more about The Holiday Sitter as its release date approaches!
The Holiday Sitter is gearing up to be a delightful Christmas rom-com fit for the Hallmark Channel, and the talented actors starring in this film are perfect for their roles. Actor Jonathan Bennett, who previously featured in Mean Girls, Van Wilder: Freshman Year, and as part of Hallmark’s first gay couple in The Christmas House, will return to the network to star as Sam. His co-star, handsome neighbor Jason, will be played by George Krissa.
Additional roles will be played by Chelsea Hobbs and Matthew James Dowden, who has starred in a number of Christmas films. Todd Walker and Amy Goodmurphy are also set to appear. One of the starring kids, Miles Walker, will be played by Everett Andres. With several more actors yet to be announced and The Holiday Sitter in post-production, we’re excited to learn more about the film as its release date approaches.
Bennett and Krissa are out and proud Hollywood actors, making The Holiday Sitter even better for featuring real gay representation. With so many films casting straight actors in gay roles, it’s great to see Hallmark’s first lead gay couple being played by actors who are actually gay! While we can’t find the names of the team who wrote The Holiday Sitter, we hope the film holds up the same realistic representation for LGBTQ+ fans.
As more queer couples come into mainstream network programming, there has been no shortage of controversy from those who disapprove. Recently, Candace Cameron Bure from the Great American Family channel made it clear her holiday content will focus on ‘traditional marriage,’ which The Holiday Sitter star Jonathan Bennett didn’t take sitting down.
To promote the film, star George Krissa has posted many photographs of him and Bennett on Instagram. The two look like the perfect Hallmark couple, and we can’t wait to see their story play out in The Holiday Sitter! Krissa certainly knows where his audience is and what they enjoy, as does Bennett, who have both been outspoken in support of Hallmark’s first gay Christmas movie. It’s wholesome and exciting to see so much support for The Holiday Sitter so far, and we can only hope the film is just as sweet.
However, as the LGBTQ+ community celebrates, there is a history of discontent The Holiday Sitter is hopefully putting to rest. In 2019, Hallmark faced backlash over an ad featuring a same-sex wedding. Initially, Hallmark refused to air the ad – which then led to a boycott by LGBTQ+ fans. Eventually, Hallmark did run the ad, and we’re glad to see them making steps towards more inclusive content this season as well. However, in 2020 when Hallmark announced plans to feature LGBTQ+ storylines in the future, the group One Million Moms pushed back and called for their own boycott. Thankfully, that hasn’t stopped the network from moving forward with their plans, bringing us The Holiday Sitter this year!
For a network that produces dozens of heart-felt and sweet films each season, staying out of politics within those movies has been one of the channel’s most notable features. We hope that The Holiday Sitter is just as much of an escapist romance fantasy as Hallmark’s other holiday films are, and we can’t wait to watch it during the Countdown to Christmas this year!
The Holiday Sitter is set to premiere on the Hallmark Channel as part of its Countdown to Christmas special on December 11th, 2022.