(Meredith) – The Hallmark Channel is diversifying its holiday film collection with the channel’s first movie featuring a gay lead couple.
“The Christmas House” premiered Nov. 22 and follows Brandon (Jonathan Bennett of “Mean Girls”) and his husband Jake (Brad Harder) as they visit Brandon’s parents for the holidays. The couple spends the time anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child.
Bennett, who is gay, said shooting the movie inspired him and his boyfriend Jaymes Vaughn to consider adopting a child.
“I’m proud of everyone at Hallmark Channel for making the holiday table bigger and more welcoming and warmer this year,” Bennett told NBC News.
The Hallmark Channel is known for its feel-good (if somewhat cheesy) Christmas movies. Typically, most of the films follow the romantic adventures of straight couples.
The Hallmark Channel vowed in July to increase its LGBTQ+ representation following criticisms that its movie lineup lacked diversity. It also faced viral criticism after its decision to pull, then reinstate, a commercial featuring a lesbian wedding last year.
The channel also showed its first same-sex wedding this year in the movie “Wedding Every Weekend,” which premiered in August.
Watch the trailer for "The Christmas House" here.