Joanna Gaines is one-half of the dynamic duo behind Fixer Upper. She and her husband mainly operate in the Waco area. Since the launch of their show, and their Magnolia empire, they have become hometown celebrities.
On the show, fans get to watch the couple transform damaged properties into liveable houses. Aside from television, Joanna and Chip Gaines are also published authors, entrepreneurs, public speakers, and religious leaders.
Because of their popularity, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ life has often come under scrutiny. A few years ago, the couple was accused of discrimination. Here’s how it impacted their life.
Where do the accusations stem from?
Though they do not discuss it much, Chip and Joanna Gaines do not shy away from the fact that they are staunch Christians. They are also vital members of the Antioch Community Church, based in Waco.
At the helm of this religious institution is a pastor named Jimmy Seibert, a close friend of Chip and Joanna. The three have even appeared in several videos promoting their church and Magnolia in extension.
Over the years, Jimmy Seibert has expressed some damning views. One such idea was that conversion therapy was a viable option for gay people looking to turn straight.
Seibert taught his congregation that being gay was a sin, mainly since it went against the Bible’s teachings.
Naturally, Seibert’s views rubbed many people the wrong way, especially the LGBTQ community. In response, the Antioch pastor went on to add that most people turned gay because of some form of childhood trauma, including sexual assault.
Jimmy argued that if gay people put their minds to it, they would alter their sexuality. When asked to expand on his beliefs, Jimmy Seibert talked about his work in the church across three decades.
He revealed that he had personally witnessed several people go through conversion.
These people had gone from being gay to thriving in heterosexual relationships. Jimmy adds that though they still juggled with doubt, they were all the better for it.
He further said that the most important thing was their willingness to change. Jimmy’s comments infuriated people, leading to severe backlash.
Most experts agree that this form of therapy can be hazardous. This is because people put through this process experience a lot of mental strain.
Their orientation is tied to a mental disorder, and an inability to change is regarded as a failure. Consequently, conversion therapy has been banned in multiple states in America. It still hasn’t stopped pastors like Jimmy Seibert campaigning for it, though.
In addition to this, Jimmy also believed that local businesses, such as restaurants, should reserve the right to kick out gay couples from their establishments.
Discrimination Accusation Against Joanna and Chip Gaines.
Joanna and Chip Gaines came under fire because of their relationship with Jimmy Seibert. As we have already mentioned, he was their pastor and a close friend. Most people assumed that they shared the same views with their church.
The fact that Joanna and Chip Gaines had never invited a gay couple on to their show also raised a few eyebrows. Moreover, most of the people who appeared on the series were Caucasian.
This seemed to suggest that they preferred white people on their show. When asked to comment on the issue, Joanna and Chip initially refused to do so.
This only fuelled the allegations that Chip and Joanna Gaines supported all the teachings of the Antioch Community Church. The network they were affiliated with did, however, choose to comment.
In a subsequent Twitter post, Chip talked about their decision to stand by their church. They said that their show did not discriminate against anyone, despite their race or sexual orientation. This tells us that they have not severed their relationship with the church despite all the controversial remarks.
We should remember that neither Chip nor Joanna has ever tried to discredit the LGBQ community in any shape or form. Furthermore, they haven’t used their HGTV platform to promote their church’s beliefs.
What other controversies have Joanna and Chip Gaines faced?
A few months after their pastor’s incendiary comments, Chip and Joanna were dragged into the mud once more. This time, their relationship with Chip’s sister, Shannon, came under fire.
At the time, Shannon Braun was positioning herself for a position on the board of a school-based in Texas. Trouble arose once Shannon expressed her disinterest in Critical Race Theory. It is a hot-button academic concept that is almost four decades old.
Most people argue that this theory could help improve race relations in the country, so it was surprising that Shannon was entirely against it.
Joanna and Chip had to deal with a lot of media backlash after a few people discovered that they had contributed to Shannon’s campaign and subsequent victory.
Because of their relationship with Shannon, people wondered whether Chip and Joanna shared the same view on Critical Race Theory.
This was further used to highlight that Fixer Upper had not hosted any minorities on their show. Again, Chip and Joanna refused to be dragged into the subject, choosing not to comment and asking people to respect their privacy.
Joanna Gaines Reveals how Discrimination Accusations have impacted their lives.
Joanna talked about how all the accusations labeled against their family have affected them in an interview. She highlighted the strain it has put on their lives, especially the reports that she and her husband did not support the LGBTQ Community. Joanna added that these accusations weighed so heavy on her mind that she found it hard to sleep at night.
Additionally, Joanna also highlighted her parents’ experience back in the 70s. Most people don’t know this, but Joanna has Korean roots. Her mother was originally born in South Korea, which makes Joanna bi-racial.
Growing up, Joanna experienced a fair share of discrimination. She was targeted at school because of her South Korean heritage; most of the kids there made various racial remarks, all targeted at her mother’s ethnicity.
Because of her experience, Joanna Gaines knew how discrimination could lead to mental anguish and even depression at worst. She had experienced hate because of her ethnicity, and it wasn’t something that she’d want anyone else to share.
Chip was a bit more reserved when it came to the issue. Being male and Caucasian, he could not relate to the prejudice most minorities experienced. However, he sought to reassure everyone that he and his wife were the furthest things from bigots.
Joanna echoed his sentiments, adding that their family bore no ill-will towards the LGBTQ community. Furthermore, there were reports that the couple recently employed an openly gay host on one of their shows.
This is a step in the right direction as it dispels suggestions that the Gaines family does not support the LGBTQ community.