The two rose to fame quickly thanks to the HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” which saw them remodel homes for couples.
It wasn’t long before fans noticed that there was a lack of same-sex couples featured on the show and rumors of homophobia began to circulate.
Such rumors were compounded when Joanna, now 43, filmed a sit-down chat with a local pastor in 2016 who had openly denounced rights for the LGBTQ+ community.
Furthermore, the two were swept up in allegations of racism when Chip’s sister, who for the school board in suburban Fort Worth, openly opposed teaching critical race theory in schools – just months after Chip and Joanna donated $1,000 to her campaign.
The duo, who are generally able to avoid controversy, did not comment publicly on either matter.
Now, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Joanna has cleared the air.
“Sometimes I’m like, ‘Can I just make a statement?’ ” she said. “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 added: “That’s the stuff that keeps me up.”
Chip, 46, who was also present for the interview, said they pride themselves on making their group of “nearly 700” employees “represent all people.”
While their biggest viewer demographic of white females will be reflected in the on-screen talent for their Magnolia Network, there are a handful of series starring people of color and at least one program on launch day will feature openly queer talent.
The two have been more open about their experience as a mixed-race family of late, in part by joining Emmanuel Acho’s digital series “Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man” to discuss raining a mixed-race family.
Additionally, Joanna Gaines has denounced hate crimes against Asians in America and has opened up about her own Korean lineage, with her mother Nan having emigrated from Seoul in 1972.
“My mom is so tough, but with one look or comment, I would just see her shut down,” Joanna said of facing racism in America. “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.”