Candace Cameron Bure is speaking out after facing a firestorm of criticism for comments she made about featuring "traditional marriage" storylines on the Great American Family (GAF) network.
The Full House alum issued a heartfelt statement to Instagram Wednesday night defending her statement that the network would not feature same-sex couples as leads in their holiday movies.
"All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone," she wrote.
"It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn't be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever."
"I am a devoted Christian. Which means that I believe that every human being bears the image of God. Because of that, I am called to love all people, and I do. If you know me, you know that I am a person who loves fiercely and indiscriminately," the 46-year-old continued. "My heart yearns to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God's huge love for all of us."
After 10 years and 30 Christmas movies, Bure left the Hallmark Channel due to failed contract negotiations.
In September, she announced her first new film with GAF, which is led by former Crown Media executive Bill Abbott.
Bure told the WSJ, "I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment." At another point, Bure acknowledged that — unlike Hallmark, which is leaning into LGBTQ storylines — GAF "will keep traditional marriage at the core."
The backlash against Bure began almost immediately.
Hilarie Burton of "One Tree Hill" fame ridiculed Bure as a "bigot." And former "Dance Moms" star JoJo Siwa slammed Bure on Instagram calling her "rude and hurtful."
Bure used Instagram to explain her views in more detail. She also criticized the media's attack on faith.
"To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you," she says. "To everyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you."
She added that she is glad to be on a network that shares her passion to create compelling and wholesome content.
"I have long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programming. I am grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network," she shared. "I had also expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities have and will continue to contribute to the network in great ways both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support. I've never been interested in proselytizing through my storytelling, but in celebrating God's greatness in our lives through the stories I tell."
She concluded her post by acknowledging that God's love motivates her in everything she does.
"The God we serve is a wildly creative and loving God. He didn't just capture a small part of my heart, He has captured all of my heart. He will be reflected in everything I do and say; in my family, my work and my interactions with people from all walks of life, God's love and God's compassion is front and center," she shares. "All of that comes from the LOVE that God himself showered upon humanity when he gave the gift of joy and forgiveness on the first Christmas morning 2,000 years ago. It is why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world."
She adds, "And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you'll join me in sharing God's hope for all the world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish."