‘It’s so far from who we really are’: Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines holds back tears addressing past claims of racism and homophobia… as she and husband Chip promise more diversity on new TV network
- Joanna Gaines, 43, is said to have held back tears talking about past claims of racism and homophobia in a interview with The Hollywood Reporter
- Their show caught backlash for never featuring same-sex couples, as well giving a platform to a local pastor who had openly denounced LGBTQ rights
- In May this year, Chip and Joanna were attacked online for donating $1,000 to his sister’s hardline anti-critical race theory school board election campaign
- Giving an emotional response to the topic, Joanna, 43, told the outlet: ‘It’s so far from who we really are’
- Chip and Joanna quit their show Fixer Upper in 2017, despite the fact it was drawing a huge audience of 16.6million viewers a week for HGTV
- The TV megastars, who live in Waco, Texas, with their five children, are now taking the fame they found on HGTV to launch a brand called Magnolia
Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have responded to past claims of racism and homophobia, as they promote their new TV network Magnolia which will be more diverse than their hit HGTV show.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Joanna, 43, who has been married to Chip, 46, since 2003, was said to be on the verge of tears when talking about being criticized on the subject.
In 2016, the show caught backlash for featuring a local pastor who had openly denounced LGBTQ rights, as well as never having featured any same-sex couples throughout the series.
Then, in May this year, Chip and Joanna were attacked online for donating $1,000 to his sister’s hardline anti-critical race theory school board election campaign.
Holding back tears, Joanna told the publication: ‘Sometimes I’m like, “Can I just make a statement?”… 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.’
Moving on: Chip and Joanna, who live in Waco, Texas with their five children, are now taking the fame they found on HGTV to launch a brand called Magnolia
However, the former HGTV megastars had previously stayed silent on both matters.
The profile claims that their new venture, the Magnolia network, will feature people of color and there will be ‘at least one show with openly queer talent at its center.’
‘As an American white male, it’s hard to be perfectly diverse,’ Chip also told the publication, weighing in on the topic of diversity.
He added: ‘In our own company, we’ve got nearly 700 employees, and one of our biggest passions is making this group represent all people.’
But the article makes a point of recognizing that Gaineses are a mixed-race family, and that last year Chip made an appearance on the podcast Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man to talk about the brutal murder of George Floyd.
Joanna has also spoken out over the rise 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 up: Joanna, 43, who has been married to Chip, 46, since 2003, was said to be on the verge of tears when talking about being criticized for never having a same-sex couple featured on their home makeover series
‘My mom is so tough, but with one look or comment, I would just see her shut down,”’she explains. ‘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.’
Elsewhere in the interview, Joanna addresses why the decided to quit their show Fixer Upper in 2017, despite the fact it was drawing a huge audience of 16.6million viewers a week for HGTV.
‘We realized we didn’t necessarily love that side of the camera, and that part became a full-time job,’ Joanna said. ‘We’ve got a big family. We’ve got a business. The show ended up where we had to constantly be feeding it.’
Chip and Joanna, who live in Waco, Texas with their five children, are now taking 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 been on the cover of People 20 times in the last four years. The Morning Show doesn’t sell a million cookbooks. There’s a big underestimation of this kind of connection to the audience.’
After delays caused principally by the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple and the the network announced that they’ll be launching an app with digital content next month, while the television channel won’t debut until January 2022.
They opened a retail outlet Magnolia Market and a restaurant Magnolia Table as well as a luxury bed and breakfast destination in Waco.
The enterprising couple signed a deal with Target for their own line of home goods, launched a magazine Magnolia Journal and published design, gardening and children’s books.
End of an era: The couple quit their show Fixer Upper in 2017, despite the fact it was drawing a huge audience of 16.6million viewers a week for HGTV
Magnolia Network, which replaces the DIY Network, will offer original programming, new seasons of some of the former DIY Network shows and all past episodes of HGTV’s Fixer Upper.
Despite the delays that have dogged their ambitious plans, Chip and Joanna remain upbeat, sharing: ‘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 certain expectations other than our number one goal is to create inspiring content, telling beautiful stories. And we can´t wait for the world to see the full slate of shows that we have to offer.’
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