Times Home Town Viewers Shaded HGTV's Ben And Erin Napier

Since 2016, Ben and Erin Napier have been showcasing their construction and design prowess on the hit HGTV show "Home Town," giving Mississippi homes the glow-ups they desperately need. For nearly a decade, fans have been ooh-ing and aah-ing over the incredible work this dynamic duo churns out, so it's no shocker that the show keeps getting renewed (as of this writing, it's on its eighth season). But even with a legion of devoted fans, the Napiers aren't immune to criticism. Some gripes are design-related, while others nosedive straight into personal territory.

For the most part, Ben and Erin have become pros at dodging online trolls and have perfected the art of ignoring the haters. After all, it comes with the territory. Erin would even occasionally turn off the comments across her socials to maintain her peace. "It's getting harder to shoulder every opinion from every direction at all times about everything when everyone is freaking out constantly," she wrote in an Instagram post in 2020. "There's too much noise."

Still, some fans think they have every right to throw shade at the Napiers. While they generally worship the ground the couple walks on, they can't resist calling them out now and then. Here are just a few moments when fans simply couldn't hold back from giving the HGTV stars a piece of their mind.

Fans occasionally questioned their design choices

Ben and Erin Napier know you can't please everyone, so they usually shrug off criticisms. But in March 2024, after the episode "Old World, New Build" aired, the pair surprisingly clapped back at the backlash from their fans. In this episode, they bulldozed a home and built a brand new one from scratch. While the final result was stunning — just look at the clients' reactions — fans nitpicked their aesthetic choices. "The awning looks cheap and it would look better uf [sic] it was just left off! ...Big disappointment!" one fan commented, with another saying, "So cute but I wished you'd have left the arch in the original design."

Erin defended their work, explaining that budget constraints forced them to make some tough decisions. "Our first new build and on a $150k budget, but we did all we could to infuse it with historic charms," she wrote, adding that there were parts in the design process that the "Home Town" episode didn't show, particularly their choice of awning. "It was edited such that you didn't hear the part where we learned the cost to do that (about $3500) would have made it too expensive," she explained.

In the end, what really matters is that they did their job, and the homeowners loved the result. Erin and Ben also reminded fans to be more mindful of their words, as they can also be seen by the property owners. "You're not hurting my feelings at all," she said. "But you're being really ugly to the people who are living in these houses."

Their parenting decisions were called into question, too

Critiquing design choices is one thing, but some fans hit below the belt. Ben and Erin Napier faced backlash over their decision to keep their children off social media until they graduate high school, a parenting approach they dub "Osprey" — old school parents raising engaged youth. They even launched a nonprofit to support this movement. "Research tells us social media is as addictive and destructive for developing brains as any drug," Erin wrote on Instagram. "If we build a culture in our home and school now where she doesn't expect access to the entire world in her pocket until she's much older, we can set her up for success."

Predictably, this stance ruffled some feathers, with some fans thinking that it's one of the strangest things about the Napiers. "Dream on lol. By high school they are on their own. The more you restrict the more they rebel," one fan sneered, while People noted that another argued, "Last I checked social media isn't illegal for under 21. You are very defensive on this topic. Why can there not be an open, civil discussion?" Erin, never one to shy away from a good debate, clapped back and explained their reasoning. "I'm not defensive," she replied. "I believe social media should be available to adults who are emotionally mature enough to handle it. sort of like driving a car or buying alcohol. a reasonable comparison, I think."