Fixer stars Upper Chip and Joanna Gaines have responded to earlier allegations of racism and homophobia, as they promote their new TV channel Magnolia which will be more diverse than their hit show HGTV.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Joanna, 43, married to Chip, 46, since 2003, was reportedly on the verge of tears as she spoke of being criticized on the matter.
In 2016, the show sparked backlash for featuring a local pastor who had openly spoken out against LGBTQ rights, as well as for never featuring same-sex couples throughout the series.
Then, in May of this year, Chip and Joanna were attacked online for donating $ 1,000 to the school board’s campaign against criticism of her sister’s racial theory.
Holding back tears, Joanna told the publication: “Sometimes I think to myself, ‘Can I just make a statement? … the accusations that are leveled at you, like you’re racist or don’t like them. people in the LGBTQ community, that’s what really eats me at lunchtime – because it’s so far removed from who we really are. This is what keeps me awake.
Moving on: Chip and Joanna, who live in Waco, TX with their five children, are now using the fame they found on HGTV to launch a brand called Magnolia.
However, former HGTV megastars had previously remained silent on these two issues.
The profile claims their new venture, the Magnolia Network, will feature people of color and that there will be “at least one show with overtly queer talent at its center.”
“As a white American man, it’s hard to be perfectly diverse,” Chip also told the publication, speaking on the topic of diversity.
He added: “In our own company we have almost 700 employees, and one of our biggest passions is making this group represent everyone.”
But the article is keen to acknowledge that Gaineses is a mixed race family, and that last year Chip made an appearance on the Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man podcast to talk about the brutal murder of George Floyd.
Joanna has also spoken out about the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans, but tells THR that she is rarely asked about the subject herself.
She talks about mother Nan who emigrated from Seoul, South Korea in 1972, and recounts the harassment they endured growing up in Kansas and Texas.
Opening: Joanna, 43, married to Chip, 46, since 2003, has reportedly been on the verge of tears as she spoke of being criticized for never featuring a gay couple in their makeover series.
“My mom is so tough, but with a look or a comment, I would just see her die off,” she explains. “That’s why she didn’t know how to help me when I came home and said, ‘So-and-so called me. “
“It happened to him too. Growing up half Asian, half Caucasian, I feel like I’m not accepted and loved. It’s the last thing I want someone to feel.
Elsewhere in the interview, Joanna explains why they decided to quit their show Fixer Upper in 2017, despite it attracting a huge audience of 16.6 million viewers per week for HGTV.
“We realized we didn’t necessarily like that side of the camera, and that part became a full-time job,” Joanna said. “We have a big family. We have a business. The show ended where we had to constantly feed it.
Chip and Joanna, who live in Waco, Texas, with their five children, are now using the fame they found on HGTV to launch a brand called Magnolia.
The opportunity was given to them by Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav, who spoke to THR about the couple’s incredible popularity.
Family matters: The couple have five children, Drake 16, Ella Rose 14, Duke 12, Emmie Kay 10 and Crew, 2 (not pictured)
“People tell me, ‘You don’t have The Mandalorian or The Morning Show,’ Zaslav explained. “But The Morning Show hasn’t made the cover of People 20 times in the past four years. The Morning Show doesn’t sell a million cookbooks. There is a great underestimation of this type of connection with the public.
After delays caused mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple and the network have announced that they will launch an app with digital content next month, while the TV channel will not debut until January 2022.
They opened a Magnolia Market retail outlet and Magnolia Table restaurant as well as a luxury bed and breakfast in Waco.
The enterprising couple signed a deal with Target for their own line of household items, launched a Magnolia Journal magazine, and published books on design, gardening, and kids.
End of an era: The couple quit their show Fixer Upper in 2017, despite it attracting a huge audience of 16.6 million viewers per week for HGTV
Magnolia Network, which replaces the DIY Network, will feature original programming, new seasons of some of the older DIY Network shows, and all past episodes of HGTV’s Fixer Upper.
Despite the delays that delayed their ambitious plans, Chip and Joanna remain optimistic and share, “Our plan has evolved along the way, but our original vision for this network has remained the same. “
Joanna added, “We love this challenge… We don’t really have any expectations other than our number one goal is to create inspiring content, telling great stories. And we can’t wait for the whole world to see the whole list of. shows we have to offer.