From anger to forgiveness, fans of ‘When Calls the Heart’ react to Lori Loughlin allegations

When Calls the Heart is a show about love, redemption, and forgiveness. The popular Hallmark series in the middle of its sixth season has fans talking not just about story arcs, but about real-life news.

Lori Loughlin, best known for her role as Aunt Becky on Full House, plays the role of Abigail Stanton – an entrepreneurial woman with an independent spirit and a forgiving heart.

In light of news Loughlin has been indicted for her alleged role in a college bribery scandal, fans of the show have struggled to align the purported misdeeds of the actress with the laudatory values of her character.

In the short time since news broke, Loughlin’s Twitter account has been deleted but her name and situation have trended. The group of Hallmark fans known as Hearties have come together in their online communities to try and make sense of something that doesn’t make sense.

Reactions range from expressions of anger and rationalization to forgiveness and sympathy.

“As a fan and viewer of When Calls the Heart since the first episode, I feel hurt and betrayed by Lori Loughlin’s actions,” wrote Meredith Leonard.

“I’m devastated by Lori Loughlin as a Hearties fan,” wrote EastCoastJulz.

A user by the name of Nan expressed frustration for the sympathy pouring towards Loughlin. “Let’s hear prayers for the victims,” reads her post.

Another commenter conveyed irritation anger is being sent Loughlin’s way at all. “Lori just wanted better for her kids!” wrote Lauren. “What parent doesn’t?”

Other fans have stopped short of excusing Loughlin’s alleged behavior, but expressed their desire to see the Hearties display the forgiveness they so admire in the fictional characters from the TV series.

“We may need to show some compassion and mercy like Abigail showed Henry,” wrote Rene Bibb, in reference to the mine owner whose greed killed the husband and son of Loughlin’s character.

“Dear fellow Hearties,” wrote Nathan Gomez, “please remember to keep our fellow Heartie, Lori Loughlin and her family in our prayers. We are an extended family and family stands by one another when life’s road gets bumpy.”

As fans struggle with the cognitive dissonance between the actress and her character, a consensus seems to be trending towards a feeling of disappointment mixed with a desire to forgive.

In a December 2018 interview, series co-creator and Christian entertainment executive Brian Bird spoke about the role of forgiveness in When Calls the Heart.

“I’ve always loved writing characters who need to be redeemed and have to travel a long way in their character quests,” said Bird.

Although he was speaking of the character of Henry Gowen (Martin Cummins), his words have special application to fans wrestling with feelings of betrayal.

“Hearties are a community just like Hope Valley,” wrote Charlotte Humphries. “This heartie chooses to forgive Lori. That’s one thing When Calls the Heart has taught me.”

3 Replies to “From anger to forgiveness, fans of ‘When Calls the Heart’ react to Lori Loughlin allegations”

  1. I am devastasted! Role models, decent family entertainment, characters with integrity are rapidly regressing! The writers poured beauty and substance in their shows (specifically, When Calls The Heart). Forgiveness is there! But so is sadness and feelings of betrayal! There are rewards and consequences regardless! Now, we all deal with the consequences! Prayers!

  2. In Contemplating this ordeal. It’s very important to want to go to college, & of course to get in on merit, otherwise it’s just handed to you & naturally “Everyone” knows that. No one can keep up appearances of going to any college w/out actually giving it a concerted effort, it’s difficult to believe any parent would think otherwise. Ignorance of those basic facts would’ve eventually been the reality. Tuff love will now become the forefront due to the bold ignorance on the each parents part. In the end all these ignorant & arrogant parents will become better people in the learning process of this situation. In order to have avoided this embarrassing reckless scandal, it’s a tragedy that colleges don’t allow a respectable charitable monetary contribution as admission to any under achieving son/daughter in order to have access to these elite schools. After all Colleges & University’s can certainly use the money & the parents can afford it & afford to hire tutors in hopes of building their child’s education right…? Well who knows in the end they’d likely just party & cheat anyway & live off the laurels of their rich parents hard work as historically shown from a child born of privilege. Actually I really feel sorry for all these parents & pray they will all get thru this w/out jail time. No one needs this situation to break up a family. The law will teach them all a hard lesson of humility.

  3. Dear Ms. Loughlin,

    I am not on Facebook or Twitter so I hope you get this note. I was finally able to watch WCTH again after a long absence since
    the charges brought against you and your husband. I feel God telling me to tell you to “Remember who you are!!! ” You are loving kindness. You are a woman of courage and integrity. Your true and divine self seems to be Abigail Stanton; the woman who forgives, loves and heals the families of Hope Valley. On stage it has been your role to pull a whole community together whether in the warmth of your cafe or fighting to restore truth and justice as the mayor. Remember who you are… in the here and now. You can transform this dark cycle into the light of day. You know what needs to be done. My prayers are with you. With love, Elizabeth

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