In a move that one media outlet is calling the cable channel’s “first tragic ending ever,” the Hallmark Channel severed ties today with actress Lori Loughlin over the college bribery scandal that erupted this week.
Hallmark Cards Inc., the parent company of the Crown Media Family Networks group that includes the Hallmark Channel, released a statement saying the company has stopped development on all productions involving Loughlin.
“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” the Hallmark statement says. “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.”
The AP notes that Loughlin has a long history as a star of Hallmark’s family-friendly productions.
“The company initially took a wait-and-see approach after a federal investigation of the scam involving more than 30 parents, many of them prominent, was revealed Tuesday,” the AP reports. “Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying bribes to gain their daughters’ college admissions.”
The report adds: “Loughlin’s career and the Hallmark Channel were deeply intertwined. She’s been among its so-called ‘Christmas queens’ who topline a slate of popular holiday movies, and also starred in the ongoing ‘Garage Sale Mysteries’ movies and the series ‘When Calls the Heart.’”
Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade has also suffered a setback in the immediate backlash over the scandal. TMZ reports that her partnership with the brand Sephora has been terminated.
TMZ quotes a “honcho” for Sephora saying: “After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately.”
TMZ also reported on Hallmark’s severing of ties with Loughlin, calling the move “Hallmark’s first tragic ending ever.”