Chip Gaines went from flipping homes in Waco, Texas, to being a beloved superstar on HGTV. But after nearly a decade of fame, he’s become a lightning rod for criticism and now, former fans are growing louder on social media about their disdain for Chip’s on-screen antics, claiming they refuse to watch “Fixer Upper” anymore.
Social Media Users Let Loose on Chip Gaines
After Chip and wife Joanna left HGTV and stopped filming “Fixer Upper” in 2018, millions of fans who’d missed the duo were thrilled to see the couple reemerge on cable TV in January 2022. Their Magnolia Network is already a success, crushing the former DIY Channel’s ratings in its first quarter.
When the Gaines skyrocketed to fame with “Fixer Upper” in 2013, they quickly became known for their endearing dynamic as a couple, with Joanna’s serious, even-keeled demeanor balancing Chip’s high-energy, comedic flair — from pratfalls to dad jokes. That dynamic continues in “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” which now airs on Magnolia, with Joanna often rolling her eyes and laughing at her husband’s comic relief during stressful moments.
But their return to TV has also inspired quite a bit of backlash, particularly from viewers who say they’ve grown tired of Chip’s on-air behavior. For example, on September 11, fans started feuding online over a quote from Chip that appeared on the Heavy on HGTV Facebook page. The featured quote was about how uncomfortable he got filming their show on HGTV when it felt like producers wanted him to say something funny or smart on cue.
“The more staged something becomes, or the more required something becomes, it boxes me up and I felt like toward the end of the ‘Fixer Upper’ journey, I felt caged, trapped,” he was quoted as saying.
Hundreds of people left passionate comments on the post, with some vowing to never watch the show again. Many were irritated about Chip’s quote, calling the host everything from “annoying” to “ungrateful” to “gross,” while others slammed him for “dangerous” renovation practices that led to FDA fines in 2018.
One woman wrote, “He was so obnoxious I stopped watching. But, he isn’t complaining about the millions they’ve made.”
“I’m not a fan of their show….the ones I saw he was just acting stupid….and I just got turned off watching it,” another person wrote.
Someone else chimed in, “He tries way too hard to be funny. I can’t stand watching their shows. Her ego has overinflated and guess what Chip, youre not funny.”
Another viewer wrote, “Sorry Chip… but you are the reason I no longer watch the show.. Act your age!”
Other fans rushed to Chip’s defense, clapping back at those vowing to boycott the show.
One fan, whose comment received dozens of likes, wrote, “Wow, so many haters commenting. Yes, it made them a lot of money, but he does have a right to state how he was feeling during this time. He probably felt he was doing the right thing at that particular point in his life. No wonder men hide their thoughts and emotions, it’s because so many people write hateful comments.”
Another wrote, “Sounds Iike a normal reaction for anyone. Find his humor cute with Jo’s reactions. They naturally like each other. Some people just need to get over themselves!”
Someone added, “And some people wonder why there are so many bullies in schools!”
Meanwhile, there were also comments from people who said Chip’s candid sharing made them like him more.
“Glad he took the time to explain his feelings,” one woman wrote. “I really didn’t care so much for him. After reading what he was feeling, I can now understand how/why he acted the way he did on air. It was his circus and they were his monkeys! Sorry for you, Chip, but have renewed respect for you now.”
The Gaines Ignore Most — But Not All — Critics
The Gaines have grown accustomed to hearing — and trying to ignore — critics and unkind comments about them over the years. They rarely engage in online mud-slinging, unless they think false accusations are getting out of hand and may impact people’s perceptions of their family values and goals.
For instance, in late 2016, BuzzFeed published an article about the couple’s church and their pastor’s biblical views against same-sex marriage, which caused many fans to assume they shared those views. According to CBN News, a firestorm of media coverage and social media buzz prompted Chip to respond via a blog post that is no longer viewable on Magnolia’s site.
“Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm an already hurting world, this is our home,” he wrote in the post. “A house divided cannot stand. If there is any hope for all of us to move forward, to heal and to grow – we have got to learn to engage people who are different from us with dignity and with love.”
He continued, “It’s not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith. That’s all fascinating, but it cannot add or take away from the reality that we’re already pulling for you. We are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other, don’t ask us to cause we won’t play that way.”
In 2017, Fox News reported that the couple received a great deal of pushback when they announced their lifestyle brand partnership with Target, which the American Family Association had already boycotted, claiming the retailer didn’t support “Christian values” by allowing transgender customers to use the bathrooms and fitting rooms that best align with their gender identity.
In a blog post about their partnership, Chip subtly addressed upset fans by writing, “With our friends, our family and with the people we do business with, we are serious about continually finding common ground. We are thankful to get to work side by side with the people at Target. We believe we are going to build something really beautiful together and that our positive impact will be far greater now than it would ever be apart.”
In a June 2021 interview in The Hollywood Reporter, Chip revealed that he now enjoys proving people wrong about his intentions and capabilities. When asked about whether or not the couple’s new Magnolia Network would succeed, he said he wasn’t fazed by naysayers.
“We understand people’s doubts,” he said. “It takes time to prove you’re trustworthy, but that feels like a challenge to me. I can’t wait to be 80 years old and for people to say, ‘Gosh, we really pegged you as phony.’“