Actress Hilarie Burton claims she walked away from a Hallmark Channel movie earlier this year after she made "inclusivity" requests that were ignored. A company spokesperson told CBS News on Tuesday that Burton "was not an employee of Crown Media Family Networks."
The statement was in response to Burton's tweets over the weekend. In midst of negotiations with the Hallmark Channel, the "One Tree Hill" star tweeted the she was "let go" from an acting role after insisting on having a more diverse cast to executives.
"Just going through some old emails from a #Hallmark job I was 'let go' from back in January," she wrote. "I had insisted on a LGBTQ character, an interracial couple and diverse casting. I was polite, direct and professional. But after the execs gave their notes on the script and NONE of my Requests were honored, I was told 'take it or leave it'. I left it. And the paycheck."
"Id walk away again in a heartbeat," she added. "The bigotry comes from the top and permeates the whole deal over there."
Burton has starred in multiple Hallmark Channel movies, "Summer Villa," "Surprised by Love" and "Naughty or Nice," but now appears to be all about Lifetime. "I've been loudly cheering for @lifetimetv all year because they heard my concerns + RALLIED!" she wrote.
Hallmark Channel has recently been under fire after it responded to pressure from a conservative group and stopped airing an ad from the wedding-planning company Zola that featured a lesbian couple. Following the backlash over that decision, the Hallmark Channel reinstated the ads.
"The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we've seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused," Hallmark CEO Mike Perry said in a statement Sunday night. "Said simply, they believe [removing the ads] was the wrong decision."