‘Fixer Upper’ Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Biggest Controversies and Scandals Since They Got Famous
Chip and Joanna Gaines aren’t even on HGTV anymore. Instead, they’re hard at work on their brand-new Magnolia Network, which will be launching in 2021. But the couple is still considered the reigning king and queen of home improvement thanks to their incredible tenure on Fixer Upper.
Not only is Fixer Upper the most popular show on HGTV, it’s also the series that made the Gaines family famous. Fans were absolutely enamored by the design aesthetic, the Gaines family, their dreamy farmhouse, and Chip and Joanna’s sweet relationship. The series was an instant success.
Still, even something as pure as Fixer Upper didn’t escape controversy. Over the years, the Gaineses faced quite a few scandals that almost ruined everything.
There was drama over Airbnb rentals on ‘Fixer Upper’
After Chip and Joanna fixed up the worst houses in the best neighborhoods, some homeowners inevitably wanted to cash in on their newly remodeled properties. But the Gaineses were renovating homes for families to enjoy with each other. They didn’t take too kindly to show participants advertising, “as seen on HGTV’s Fixer Upper” on their VRBO or Airbnb listings, and then charging a premium.
Legally speaking, there wasn’t much the Gaineses could do about the issue. But in later seasons of the series, the contracts got a little stricter. “We want to honor our national viewing audience. We want to do remodels for clients’ homes. That’s the true intent of our show, and we want to ensure that does not get lost in this new vacation rental trend,” a spokesperson for the Gaineses told The Waco Tribune.
One ‘Fixer Upper’ homeowner was horrified with her new house
The big reveal is the best part of Fixer Upper. That’s when show participants get to see a truly magical transformation. However, one homeowner did not agree with Chip and Joanna that her new home was located in “the best neighborhood,” as the show’s tagline claimed.
“It’s like the Wild West here. There’s been a lot of commotion coming from the bars and the store across the street,” Kelly Downs from the “Three Little Pigs” episode said. “We feel deceived by the city of Waco and [Chip and Joanna Gaines’s firm] Magnolia Realty.”
Things came to a head when a drunk driver smashed through the Downs’ front window. The couple claimed they were “intimidated and harassed” in their new neighborhood.
There’s only one small issue with the accusation. Since Fixer Upper homes must already be under contract before participants come on the show, it’s unclear if the Gaineses chose that home for the Downs family or if they made their own mistakes.
Chip and Joanna Gaines’ church opposes same-sex marriage
The Gaineses are outspoken about their Christian faith and constantly insist it’s the solid foundation their family is built upon. But when some news outlets began reporting that the Gaines’ church, Antioch Community Church, opposed same-sex marriage, the couple came under fire by association.
Buzzfeed reported that the pastor at Antioch, “takes a hard line against same-sex marriage and promotes converting LGBT people into being straight.”
Chip and Joanna Gaines addressed the rumors with a statement, saying, “We don’t discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows. HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series.”
Later, Chip clarified their position in a blog post. “Joanna and I have personal convictions,” he wrote. “One of them is this: We care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbor on planet earth. It’s not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith.”
Waco residents aren’t thrilled with the city’s newfound popularity
Chip and Joanna helped make their city of Waco a true tourist destination thanks to good press on the show and the establishment of their retail emporium, Magnolia Market at the Silos. “This couple has transformed this city, almost single-handedly,” local broker Camille Johnson told the New York Post. “We used to struggle to get people to come [here]. … The show has changed the whole way the country looks at Waco.”
This economic boom is great for local businesses. But not all Waco residents are excited that their city is so hot right now. Fixer Upper inspired popularity led to increased home prices, parking issues, and local tax hikes. The formerly quiet town is now bustling and lively — which isn’t ideal for everyone.
Still, the Gaineses have revitalized Waco’s reputation in positive ways, too. And whether the locals like it or not, Fixer Upper isn’t going away anytime soon. The couple recently announced they were planning to reboot the popular series to air on their new Magnolia Network once it launches.