HGTV Responds to Fixer Upper Scandal, Accusations of Discrimination

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HGTV has spoken out against accusations of discrimination against members of the gay, transgender and queer communities.

In no uncertain terms.

The network felt forced to issue a statement after Buzzfeed published an in-depth article this week that called out the pastor at the church attended by Chip and Joanna Gaines, the popular couple at the forefront of Fixer Upper.

The article delved into this pastor's anti-gay marriage and anti-homosexual views.

Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines

There seems to be no doubt, based on his many quotes over the years, that Pastor Jimmy Seibert of the Antioch Community Church in Texas is against the institution of same-sex marriage.

He has also stated that he thinks nearly all homosexuals have been abused in some way and that it's very possible to convert them into being straight.

These are controversial opinions, to be sure, but they are not positions publicly held by Chip or Joanna.

The couple has never spoken out on its religious beliefs. We have no idea what they think about these topics.

Should they really be shamed by association with their pastor?

Should viewers care what beliefs their favorite TV stars may possibly hold?

Buzzfeed has come under major fire for writing this article. By those on the far Right? Yes:

gaines tweet

But also by those who support same-sex marriage:

buzzfeed criticism

An editorial in The Washington Post, linked to in the Tweet above, refers to Buzzfeed's article as a "hit piece" and labeled it "dangerous" because it is an "elaborate," 800-word post, entirely based on a "hypothetical question."

Moreover, the newspaper describes the piece as a "deceitful, manipulative way to take down conservatives."

Writes The Post in this op-ed:

It is no longer okay - indeed, it never was - to write cutesy articles shaming religious people as homophobic for simply being one of the many millions of Americans in 2016 who attend a religious congregation that does not support same-sex marriage.

So... what does BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith have to say about all this?

He claimed on Twitter that the story wasn't about Chip and Joanna, but rather about HGTV and its company policies.

"This is a story about a big company, HGTV, refusing to say whether they ban LGBT people from a TV show," Smith Tweeted. "They should just answer the question."

Many LGBT couples have appeared on such programs as Property Brothers and Love It or List It, but HGTV still came out last night and issued a statement on the controversy.

“We don’t discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows,” the statement read.

“HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series.”

It's true. It does.

Joanna and Chip Gaines

Fox News has picked up and run with this story. It even interviewed Seibert on Thursday.

"People don’t know what the Bible says anymore on issues of sexuality,” he said.. “People don’t know what God says on homosexuality or any other issue.

"I felt the need to say we are all a mess – but the fixed points were set by God - not us. We are pro-helping people in their journey to find out who God is and who He has made them to be."

That's great? That's discriminatory and offensive? That's a viewpoint on homosexuality that you may react to however you see fit.

But we're not sure what it has to do with Chip and Joanna Gaines of why a news/celebrity gossip/entertainment site would write a feature piece on a pastor.

Fixer Upper airs on HGTV on Tuesdays at 9/8c.

Will you still tune in to it?

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