Jonathan Bennett is self-identifying as the "gay king of Christmas."
The 41-year-old, who played teen heartthrob Aaron Samuels in Tina Fey's iconic 2004 film Mean Girls, publicly came out as gay in 2017. This month, he's executive producing and starring in The Holiday Sitter, which makes history as the Hallmark Channel's first-ever holiday movie featuring a queer couple.
In recent interviews ahead of the film's release, Bennett has been jokingly adopting the moniker "the gay king of Christmas," as well as speaking up about queer representation in media. “Hallmark Channel has done such a great job of making sure that everyone knows that Christmas is for everyone and that the Hallmark Channel is for everyone," Bennett told Page Six.
Bennett also told Entertainment Weekly that he ensured he worked with a queer-led team for the project. "What was so cool is that we have a team of queer people working on it from all the creative angles — our producers, writers, directors, and actors are all queer," he said.
In the movie, Bennett plays a confirmed bachelor named Sam who agrees to babysit his niece and nephew and ends up falling for the family's neighbor Jason, portrayed by George Krissa. Bennett's character is inspired loosely by his desire to create a gay version of the bachelor protagonist from the 1989 film Uncle Buck.
Though this marks the Hallmark Channel's first movie centered specifically on a gay couple, it's not the first time Bennett has played a gay character on the network. He previously played a gay character in 2020's The Christmas House and the 2021's The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls.
Outside of acting, Bennett married his husband Jaymes Vaughan in Mexico earlier this year. The two made history as the first LGBTQ+ couple featured on the cover of wedding magazine The Knot.
The Holiday Sitter will launch on the Hallmark Channel on December 11. Watch a sneak peek trailer below.
Photo via Getty Images / Paul Archuleta
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