HGTV Responds to BuzzFeed Report on 'Fixer Upper' Stars Attending Anti-Gay Church

Friday December 2, 2016

The HGTV network is responding to a report published by BuzzFeed Tuesday that went viral and takes aim at the hosts of a popular show over their affiliation with a nondenominational, evangelical church that strictly opposes same-sex marriage and supports conversion therapy.

Kate Aurthur's BuzzFeed report on Chip and Joanna Gaines, the couple who stars on the HGTV show "Fixer Upper," focuses on their affiliation with the Antioch Community Church located in Waco, Texas - the city where the Gaineses run their Magnolia business. The article also shines the spotlight on the couple's pastor, and reportedly their good friend, Jimmy Seibert, whose sermons feature anti-LGBT language and are quoted throughout Aurthur's piece.

Though she outlines the church's stance on the LGBT community, the reporter does not get any direct quotes from the couple:

So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV's 'House Hunters' and 'Property Brothers'? Emails to Brock Murphy, the public relations director at their company, Magnolia, were not returned. Nor were emails and calls to HGTV's PR department.

Her lead also reads, "Their pastor considers homosexuality to be a 'sin' caused by abuse - whether the 'Fixer Upper' couple agrees is unclear."

The article has sparked an online controversy, with some supporting it, and others not so much.

HGTV has responded to the BuzzFeed report, telling The Huffington post the network does not discriminate.

"We don't discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows," the network said. "HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series."

The Gaineses have yet to respond to the BuzzFeed article.

Back in 2014 twin brothers David Benham and Jason Beham had an HGTV show canceled before it even aired after it was discovered David, and his father Flip Benham, had a history of using anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-abortion language.