Chip and Joanna Gaines Speak Out About 'Accusations' of 'Being a Racist' and Anti-LGBTQ
The Fixer Upper stars recently opened up in a lengthy interview with The Hollywood Reporter about some of the criticism they've faced around diversity and inclusion.
It's the first time they've spoken out about some of the push-back that's come their way, though Joanna, 43, told the outlet she's long wanted to discuss the topic.
"Sometimes I'm like, 'Can I just make a statement?' " Joanna recalled, "tearing up a little" according to THR.
"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," she continued. "That's the stuff that keeps me up."
Chip, 46, echoed the sentiment, explaining their ethos of diversity and inclusion with their Magnolia business umbrella — including their forthcoming Magnolia Network, launching July 15.
"As an American white male, it's hard to be perfectly diverse," he said. "In our own company, we've got nearly 700 employees, and one of our biggest passions is making this group represent all people."
They appear to be walking the walk with one of Magnolia's flagship series, Mind for Design, hosted by openly gay interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn.
The couple's show has also come under scrutiny for never featuring any same-sex couples, THR reports.
More recently, it was revealed by The Dallas Morning News that they made a $1,000 donation to Chip's sister and her Fort Worth school board campaign, in which she's advocated against teaching critical race theory, a current hot-button issue among conservatives. As reported by THR, the donation was made many months before his sister's campaign platform had been formed.
The Gaines did not comment on either matter publicly, THR noted.
That doesn't mean they've stayed quiet around the topic of racism, especially as a mixed-race family.
After the police killing of George Floyd last summer, Chip and Joanna appeared on retired NFL pro Emmanuel Acho's digital series Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, along with their children — sons Drake, 16, Duke, 13, and Crew, 3, and daughters Ella, 14, and Emmie, 11. They've also used their Magnolia empire to promote Black-owned brands.
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Joanna has also opened up about how she has been impacted by the wave of anti-AAPI hate that's swept the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She recounted experiencing that same kind of hate as a child, while seeing how it affected her mother.
"My mom is so tough, but with one look or comment, I would just see her shut down," Joanna told THR. "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."