Lifetime Announces First-Ever Movie Starring an LGBTQ Couple


Lifetime is going to have a lot of “firsts” this holiday season.

The network announced the addition of its first film centered around a same-sex couple as part of the “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday movie programming.

The film, titled “The Christmas Set Up,” follows Hugo, a corporate lawyer in New York.

According to the press release on Deadline, Hugo returns home to Milwaukee for the holidays where his mother plays matchmaker and sets him up with his high school crush, Patrick, now a tech employee in Silicon Valley.

When sparks fly, Hugo is forced to choose between the man of his dreams or a big promotion that requires him to uproot his life and move to London.

The inclusion of a movie led by an LGBTQ couple comes after the network faced criticism from fans for its lack of representation in holiday programming.

“We are thrilled to continue our legacy of creating a holiday destination that is welcoming to all at Lifetime," Amy Winter, EVP and head of programming at Lifetime and LMN, said.

Prior to “The Christmas Set Up,” Lifetime only featured one LGBTQ couple in 2019’s “Twinkle All the Day.” While the couple shared a kiss towards the end of the film, the characters were not the plot's central focus.

Lifetime is also embracing diversity in its 30 new holiday films.

“A Sugar & Spice Holiday,” directed by Jennifer Liao, will focus on a Chinese-American family for the first time ever.

A third film, “Christmas Ever After,” will star Ali Stroker, the network’s first wheelchair lead.

Casting for both movies is underway with production beginning later this month, according to the network.

Lifetime isn’t the only network being called out for its lack of representation and diversity.

After announcing nearly 40 new films for 2020, the Hallmark Channel promised to add more "projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors,” though it hasn’t announced any just yet.

"Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us," a statement from the representative read. "We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome."

Last year, the network, owned by Crown Media, apologized for pulling a Zola commercial featuring a lesbian wedding.

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