The Clear Sign Chip & Joanna Gaines' Reputation With HGTV Fans Has Soured

Chip and Joanna Gaines' new TV series has put a bad taste in some of their fans' mouths.

In 2013, fans of the Home and Garden Television Network were first introduced to the famous couple with the release of their hit series "Fixer Upper." Set in the city of Waco, Texas, Chip and Joanna help homebuyers find and renovate their dream property in the cozy town. Upon the show's release, the Gaines' popularity skyrocketed, resulting in various TV spin-offs, brand deals and their own cable network, The Magnolia Network, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Discovery. "For us, there hasn't been a playbook, which I would say is why we have many sleepless nights," Joanna told Variety in November 2022 while reflecting on their success. Chip added: "We wanted to do these businesses, and television kind of oddly gave us the opportunity to do what was deep down in our hearts to begin with."

Despite the charismatic couple winning the hearts of millions of viewers worldwide, their upward trajectory hasn't been free from controversy. In May 2024, the Gaines' faced backlash from fans after they announced their new series, "Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse." While the show appears to stick to the formula of Chip and Joanna's previous projects, the origin of how the couple landed the lakeside home has rubbed some longtime fans the wrong way.

Fans call out the Gaines for being out of touch

On May 20 2024, Chip and Joanna Gaines released the first trailer for "Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse." The new series, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of the "Fixer Upper" HGTV premiere, follows the married duo as they renovate a mid century home located near Lake Waco in Texas. "This lake house, there's something significant that this project landed on our 10 year Fixer anniversary," Joanna says in the teaser. After arriving at the property, the two look in awe before Chip exclaims, "I bought that lake house for our 10 year celebration." While the trailer was full of quirky moments and chaotic demolition scenes, some fans couldn't get past Chip admitting that he purchased the home.

In the comment section of Magnolia Network's promotional Instagram post a handful of viewers called out the Gaines for showing off their massive net worth. "I don't like watching HGTV personalities renovating their own luxury 2nd or 3rd homes. It looks like they're showing off," one disgruntled person wrote. Other fans used the opportunity to criticize the pair for moving their content from HGTV, with one individual writing: "I guess that's what more money does, they forget about their first fans." While Chip admitted to buying the home for the 10 year "Fixer Upper" celebration, it doesn't mean they are keeping the property for themselves. In fact, the pair have turned a handful of featured homes into rental properties, like the Historic Hillcrest Estate and Hillcrest Cottage, per Business Insider.

Chip and Joanna's reputation has been on the decline

While Chip and Joanna Gaines have become a staple within the home improvement reality TV sector, their reputation has taken significant hits over the years due to various controversies, including money-related ones. In April 2024, fans called out Chip for making an out of touch comment when arguing about Baylor University's basketball coach, Scott Drew, potentially leaving his position for higher salary. "Money is boring... everybody's got money. We've got God on our side," he wrote on X. It didn't take long for fans to slam Chip for his post, with one person writing, "Your tweet is tone deaf to all the suffering because people don't have money." Another X user echoed similar sentiments, "Money is boring when you have tons of it, but what about the poor that Jesus championed?"

A year prior, the Houston Chronicle released an in-depth report on how the popularity of "Fixer Upper" potentially increased housing prices and taxes in Waco, Texas, resulting in some residents being priced out. "I look at the kids. They had their grandmother right there next door or down the street, that's gone," local pastor Marsha Martie told the news outlet. Lastly, the Gaines have landed in hot water for their controversial political donations. In May 2021, The Dallas Morning News reported that the couple gave $1000 to the school board campaign of Shannon Braun, who happens to be Chip's sister. This action resulted in the two being hit with racism accusations after it was revealed that Shannon disapproves of critical race theory.