“Fixer Upper” fans stood behind Chip and Joanna Gaines this week.
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed released an article that accused the Gaines’s family church pastor at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas, of slamming homosexuality, calling it a “sin” and a “lifestyle” choice during a recent sermon. He also reportedly preached in favor of conversion therapy.
It is not clear whether or not the Gaineses agree with the opinions of their pastor, Jimmy Seibert, and when they were reached for comment, BuzzFeed claimed that messages were not returned from the PR director of the couple’s company, Magnolia, and their network, HGTV.
Shortly after the article was released, angry “Fixer Upper” fans took to social media to defend Chip and Joanna.
Several social media users referenced a follow-up story to BuzzFeed’s article in The Washington Post.
Brandon Ambrosino slammed BuzzFeed for insinuating that because Seibert has such radical beliefs, the Gaineses would agree.
“The entire article is an elaborate exploration of that hypothetical question. And yes, it is very much hypothetical, by the reporter’s own admission: ‘Emails to Brock Murphy, the public relations director at their company, Magnolia, were not returned. Nor were emails and calls to HGTV’s PR department,'” Ambrosino wrote.
He also dove into a potential reason behind the scathing article:
The minds at BuzzFeed are not naive: They know that the Gaineses and HGTV are going to have to come out with a public statement on same-sex marriage. They also know that if the statement is not 100 percent supportive of same-sex marriage, the network will be pressured to drop them.
Despite the backlash, BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief stood by the piece.
“This is a story about a big company, HGTV, refusing to say whether they ban LGBT people from a TV show. They should just answer the question,” Ben Smith tweeted on Wednesday.
HGTV later released a statement about the controversy on Thursday to the Huffington Post.
“We don’t discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows. HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series,” the statement read.
Representatives for the Gaineses were not reached.