Weeks after agreeing to a modified custody arrangement for her three-year-old son and declaring she would no longer feature him on social media, HGTV’s Christina Hall changed course over the holiday weekend, posting multiple photos of her preschooler. The host of “Christina on the Coast” and the upcoming series “Christina in the Country” was involved in a contentious custody battle for much of 2022 with her ex-husband, Ant Anstead, regarding their three-year-old son, Hudson.
Following Anstead’s repeated objections over Hudson appearing in Christina’s paid social media ads and on her HGTV shows, she vowed in an Instagram post on October 2, 2022, to not only end Hudson’s appearances in paid-for media, but to stop including Hudson in any form of media — not just promotions or shows she’s paid for.
Christina, who married real estate broker Josh Hall in early 2022, wrote, “I am mentally exhausted over the recent false accusations against me. Hudson’s father has made attempts to turn my family, friends, and fans against me through manipulation tactics and false information. This has had great impact on me and my household. Because of this, I have made the decision to no longer feature Hudson on Instagram, my tv shows or any social platforms until he is old enough to make this decision for himself.”
Christina Hall Changes Course, Features Son Hudson in Instagram Stories Over Christmas Weekend
Christina and Anstead reached a custody agreement in late November 2022, agreeing to a new holiday schedule that allows her to have Hudson on Thanksgiving and Christmas during even-numbered years, including this year. She also had her two older kids with her for Christmas — seven-year-old son Brayden and 12-year-old daughter Taylor — whom she shares with her first husband and HGTV star Tarek El Moussa. She and El Moussa have always included their two kids on their shows and on social media.
Over Christmas weekend, Christina posted multiple photos to her Instagram Stories that included Hudson in full view. In one, all three kids were seen smiling with her parents, and over a family photo of the kids with her and Josh in front of a Christmas tree, she wrote, “Wonderful Christmas Eve with family and friends.”
Christina also reposted Stories by her sister, Carly Haack; one featured a photo of the sisters with all three kids, and another showcased a video of Haack holding Hudson in her lap, making him giggle as she held a box in front of his face and then pulled it away.
The photos and video with Hudson were a departure from Christina’s strategy over the last nearly two months, during which she made sure to hide the three-year-old’s face from view on social media. That decision came after a war of words broke out on Instagram between her and Anstead, following his September 27 court filing about his concerns regarding Hudson appearing in ads and shows.
Anstead, an auto expert and TV host who specializes in car shows like the Property Brothers’ spinoff “Celebrity IOU: Joy Ride,” complained that Christina had continued to feature their child in promotions, ads, and TV shows she was compensated for, saying that he didn’t think it was appropriate for their three-year-old to appear as a “spokesperson, ambassador or as a model for any products or social media campaigns.”
Anstead has maintained, however, that he didn’t mind if Christina included Hudson in posts about day-to-day family life, as he has continued to do on Instagram.
In line with her statement about no longer featuring Hudson in any social media, she began either keeping Hudson out of view in posts or covering his face with graphics. On November 21, Christina shared a photo of her family at an ice cream shop in Tennessee, where she’s been filming her new show, but kept Hudson out of the photo, writing, “Hudson is here too but can’t be ‘here.’”
Many fans assumed that meant Anstead or a judge had forced her not to include him, and flooded her comments with questions.
In a November 28 family photo on Instagram with her new husband and all three kids, she covered Hudson’s face with an emoji. That same day, she posted an Instagram Story in which she addressed why she’d made the decision to start hiding Hudson’s face.
“This will be the last time l talk about this,” she wrote. “Since there is so much confusion and false info about Hudson’s photos. People on here telling me ‘she was never told she couldn’t post’ … Umm correct… I never said that! I was NOT told I could no longer post Hudson… I was NOT told anything by a judge because I was never in front of a judge.”
Christina continued, “I CHOSE and Choose to not post Hudson because I was exhausted over Instagram being used as a tool against me. This has nothing to do with ads, people need to wrap their heads around the fact that none of this actually has to do with advertisements. This is about CONTROL.”
Fans Continue to Be Confused Over Decision to Hide Hudson
Despite Christina and Anstead’s attempts to set the record straight on social media, fans continue to comment in droves on both of their Instagram accounts about the issue.
On a December 21 Instagram post by Anstead, with a photo of Hudson decorating the Christmas tree at his house, a follower commented, “Sooo confused! Why can YOU post pictures of Hudson’s face, yet Christina keeps having to hid his face??? I like you both, just confuzzled!”
Anstead responded, “where did you read she can’t show his face??? Share what article said that? That’s simply not true. She can totally show his face. She just can’t exploit him in paid commercials or posts. That’s all. If it’s an organic family pic (for example) that’s totally cool. Sounds you like you have your wires crossed or you got tricked by some manipulative PR?”
When the woman replied that she’d seen several articles saying she couldn’t post Hudson’s face but wasn’t “trying to start anything,” Anstead wrote, “yeah you got sucked into the trap. Let me categorically say (from the horses mouth if you like) she ‘CAN’ post pics of Hudzo.”
In reply to another person asking why he could post Hudson but Hall supposedly couldn’t, Anstead responded, “makes me laugh so many people don’t actually read the facts. They blindly go bumbling down a path that’s been laid for them as a PR smokescreen…just have to laugh it off (and hope none of these folks hold important positions like doctor or teacher or then we are all screwed!)”
On the same day, Christina posted a photo of Hudson — with his back to the camera — taking a photograph of her and Josh. Fans flooded that post, too, with questions about why she isn’t “allowed” to post Hudson’s face while Anstead is.
Though Christina didn’t reply to any of those inquiries, she did reply to one person who wrote, “What. A. CUTIE!!!!!!! The kids got talent!! I think we need a Hudson-IG-Takeover day.”
Christina replied “Yass” and added an applause emoji.