The Fixer Upper stars have faced criticism for a lack of inclusivity on their show and within their church.
Through the years, the Fixer Upper stars have been criticized for never featuring an LGBTQ+ couple on the show. The Gaines' also belong to Antioch Church, which has a notoriously anti-LGBTQ+ pastor and overall stance that "homosexuality is a sin." It also recently became public information that the couple donated to Chip's sister's school board campaign—and part of her platform is advocating against teaching critical race theory.
Now, the couple is publicly addressing many of these criticisms for the first time. Joanna tells THR she's wanted to publicly express her thoughts for a long time.
"Sometimes I'm like, 'Can I just make a statement?'" Joana said with tears in her eyes, per THR. "The accusations that get thrown at you, like 'You're a racist' or ''You don't like people in the LGBTQ community' — that's the stuff that really eats my lunch, because it's so far from who we really are. That's the stuff that keeps me up."
Their new network, Magnolia network, is set to launch July 15. Chip says they've made sure their 700 employees represent "all people." One of the flagship shows premiering with the network will be hosted by openly gay interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn.
Though neither Chip or Joanna directly addressed their contribution toward his sister's campaign, THR did note that the donation was made prior to his sister's anti-CRT platform announcement.
Joanna Gaines also doesn't want it to get lost that she's biracial (her mom is Korean and her dad is white) and understands how it feels to be on the receiving end of racism. She talked about how the increase in anti-Asian violence amid the pandemic has affected her personally, and how anti-Asian racism impacted her and her family when she was growing up in Kansas and Texas.
"My mom is so tough, but with one look or comment, I would just see her shut down," Joanna told THR. "That's why she didn't know how to help me when I would come home and say, 'So-and-so called me this.' It was also happening to her. Growing up as half-Asian, half-Caucasian, I get what that feels like to not be accepted and to not be loved. That's the last thing I want anyone to ever feel."
Both Chip and Joanna expressed that they'd rather be judged by their actions and the choices that they're making with the Magnolia network. Though the viewership is expected to be predominantly white and female, Chip and Joanna say they've made sure their on-air talent—and people featured on each show—are more diverse than Fixer Upper was.
Here's hoping the launch of the much-anticipated Magnolia network features many different people, many different stories, and represents everyone—because everyone loves home shows, everyone wants to feel represented, and no one does the home show thing quite like Chip and Joanna.