Fixer Upper scandal, Flip or Flop divorce rumors mark unexpected reality TV turn for HGTV’s powerhouses

Fixer Upper FAQ 3

HGTV’s shows are normally a bedrock of good vibes and chill presenters, but the Fixer Upper scandal and Flip or Flop divorce controversy have both rocked the network in consecutive weeks. HGTV’s public statements on the matter offer a picture of calm, though their lack of detail has sometimes left fans wondering what’s really going on behind the scenes.

The Fixer Upper scandal was the first of the two stories to break, and, so far, is the only one to be directly addressed by the network itself. As Season 4 of the über-popular show premiered, a BuzzFeed article on Chip and Joanna Gaines’ church–and, specifically, their church’s pastor-went viral. Their article highlights the views of Jimmy Seibert, head of the Antioch Community Church in Waco, regarding homosexuality. Seibert is on record giving many sermons and interviews with anti-gay views; more troubling to the LGBT community is his advocacy in favor of conversion therapy for homosexuals, a practice which has long been out of favor among civil rights groups and scientists alike.

Shortly after that story broke, HGTV released a statement reaffirming its pro-gay views, and saying, among other things, that the network is “proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series.”

Indeed, gay individuals or couples have appeared on nearly every other HGTV show; Fixer Upper is a notable exception. While he didn’t address Seibert’s remarks directly, or say whether he and Joanna follow Seibert’s teachings to the letter, Chipper Gaines did address the issue in a series of tweets asking for respect from all parties:

Chip and Joanna Gaines anti-gay 2 Chip and Joanna Gaines anti-gay 3 Chip and Joanna Gaines anti-gay 1

Since then, the Fixer Upper scandal appears to have died down. Though Seibert appeared to double down on his initial remarks in a follow-up interview with a Fox News columnist, neither the network nor the Gainses have addressed the matter again.

Flip or Flop episodes 3

Perhaps more surprising to fans has been the news that Flip or Flop power couple Tarek and Christina El Moussa have agreed to split and reevaluate their marriage following a tumultuous 2016 marked by alleged bickering, infighting, and a reported suicide attempt on Tarek’s part. The bombshell announcement came earlier this week, in the form of a joint statement from both Christina and Tarek, who asked for privacy while they attempt to work things out. And, while they didn’t say whether their intention is to divorce, the word has come up in nearly every article written about the couple in the wake of their announcement.

According to a TMZ report that followed the announcement, Christina called the police to her and Tarek’s Orange County house this past May, after an argument boiled over and resulted in Tarek stalking out of the house with a loaded gun in his hand. 11 deputies and a police helicopter descended on the hiking trail he’d gone down; when he was confronted by police, Tarek reportedly appeared calm and put his gun down, saying he’d only taken it in case he came across dangerous animals while “blowing off steam.” His report conflicted with Christina’s apparent declaration that he’d been suicidal.

Since then, at least one high-profile gossip report, from E!, claims that the pair’s marriage had already “been on thin ice,” that they “constantly fought and bickered” during filming of their show, and furthermore that they “had to be kept apart during breaks.”

Tarek and Christina share two children: six-year-old Taylor and fifteen-month-old Brayden. They married in 2009.

Fixer Upper Season 4 airs Tuesday nights at 9 PM on HGTV, while Flip or Flop airs Thursdays at 9.

RELATED ARTICLES: Are Tarek and Christina El Moussa getting divorced? Flip or Flop couple split after alleged suicide attempt

Chip and Joanna Gaines conversion therapy controversy threatens to overshadow Fixer Upper Season 4 debut

Fixer Upper controversy continues: Pastor addresses anti-gay remarks; Chip Gaines calls for respect

(Photo credits: Fixer Upper scandal via Instagram)

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  • aimsless

    And in other news, they are human beings who have flaws just like the rest of us – only theirs are plastered all over the media.

  • Emmy

    No more Fixer upper here until they make clear where they stand.
    The fact that they haven’t, tells me they support these ideas.
    I actually thought they were intelligent and nice people. How can you believe that being gay is an illness that has to be cured when you are?
    Plenty of proof the bible hasn’t been translated well everywhere (f.e. Moses did not split the sea of Red but of reed) plus tweaked by early church fathers. The bottom line is still very clear.
    If only we would let others be and act in love on this planet God gave us, planet earth would become heaven for everyone.

    • Joe

      So they suddenly are not intelligent and nice because you have different opinions than they do? How intelligent and nice do you sound?

      • Anne


      • Kriss

        lol….I love it

      • Nikki


    • Roberto Batista Leandro

      They never said anything on their show about gays. They never put anyone down or mock anyone….and what does it matter if they do not support homosexuality? Because people do not support homosexuality does not mean they hate homosexuals. To think otherwise is ignorant.
      As for your Moses splitting the sea….it was the “Red Sea” that God split, not Moses. Moses merely lead the people of Israel across dry land when the sea was split. And yes history is factual on that. Archeologists have found chariots and other remnants of that occasion at the bottom of the Red Sea.
      Remember, to disagree with another persons view is different from simply hating or not loving that person. Example: because a parent and child disagree does not mean they hate each other.

      • TexasBlonde51

        Homosexuality may be a sin according to the Bible, but there are many more things that are sins too. We all sin each and every day. We are human. It is not our place to judge whether this sin is greater or less than that sin. We sin every day and every new day we try to be better.

        Roberto, you are so right. We may disagree with out child and see they are following the wrong path. We still love our child. We may not love their behavior at all times, but we always love them. Just like the father who had his prodigal son return home, we welcome him with love and have a big celebratory meal with family and friends.

  • Lou gilliam

    Give me a break. I am from the south in the Bible Belt and there is not one church in this area that doesn’t speak against homosexuality. Whatever their pastor preaches is one thing, what’s in their hearts is their own business just like the right to walk into a voter booth and vote. It ain’t none of your business. I just love their love.