Why Food Network Fans Turned On ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond
From the food competition shows to chefs letting viewers in on their favorite recipes (and the memories that come with them), there’s a little something for everyone on the Food Network. And one of our favorite relative newcomers to the network is Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman. Ree cooks up all kinds of delicious eats while sharing stories about her life from city slicker to cowgirl, and there’s no doubt her entire family’s quite endearing.
Unfortunately, it seems not everyone’s happy with Ree. Some fans are unhappy with the way she’s living her life on her ranch, and others have had trouble with a few things she’s said and done in the past. Here’s why some of her loyal viewers have turned against her.
Ree and Ladd get a huge government payout for their land
Ree and her husband, Ladd, appear to be totally humble country people who are happy with a simple way of life. And though we know Ree is raking in huge amounts of money from the Food Network for her hit series, that’s far from her only source of income. According to AOL, she’s also making serious money from the government thanks to her land ownership.
AOL notes the Drummond family stand as one of the biggest landowners in the United States. They reportedly own 433,000 acres, which puts them as the 23rd largest land owners in the entire country. And because they allow wild horses and burros on their property, they’re making major money ($23 million over the course of a decade) from the Bureau of Land Management. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, of course — but while fans thought they could relate to the Drummond family’s simple, wholesome way of life, it turns out they’re raking in way more money from the government than any of us realized.
Some fans think Ree’s too into the traditional gender roles
Ree’s talked at length in the past about how she met her cowboy husband, Ladd. While she’s originally from Oklahoma, she always had dreams of making it big in the city and being a totally independent woman — but when she met Ladd in an Oklahoma bar during her college-aged years, everything changed. She traded the city dreams to be a housewife, a mother, and a cook. And while she obviously has her own thriving businesses and is a total self-starter, Psychology Today notes she’s selling the idea of “domestic bliss” to her fans, which many see as deeply problematic.
The publication notes Texas writer Melanie Haupt commented on The Pioneer Woman in her dissertation. Haupt wrote, “[The Pioneer Woman] represents an idealized woman, a frontier version of the angel in the house with a 21st-century twist, one who offers up domesticity as escapist entertainment.” Haupt also added that Ree frequently refers to her husband in such a way that “conjures up images of rugged Western masculinity.” Considering how far women have come to step back from traditional gender roles, this may be harmful to them.
Ree also had an incident with racism
Not only has Ree been accused of supporting classic gender roles that can hurt women, but she’s also been slammed for racism in the past. Eater reminds us in an episode on Season 2 of her show, she made “Asian hot wings” much to the dismay of the rugged group of men also on the episode. As one guy asks, “Where are the real wings,” and another adds, “I don’t trust ’em,” Ree laughs and then pulls out the “real” wings — classic Buffalo style.
Fans found this episode incredibly offensive to Asian culture. As one fan tweeted, “I was already bummed by the lack of diversity on @foodnetwork Now @thepioneerwoman & co. are on there saying they don’t trust ‘asian’ food??” And another tweeted, “the “JUST KIDDING GUYS HERE’S THE WHITE PEOPLE CHICKEN WINGS” at the end is really something.”
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