HGTV is Clearly Aligned With the LGBT Movement. But it’s Sticking With the Gaineses
As everyone knows, on Tuesday, Buzzfeed launched a hit job against Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of the ratings bonanza show “Fixer Upper.” The couple’s crime is in attending a church that opposes redefining marriage and considers homosexual relationships sinful. Even worse, they didn’t respond to Buzzfeed’s request for comment about their views on same-sex sexual relationships, and the show hasn’t had a same-sex couple on it!
While a handful of outlets (perhaps most prominently, Jezebel and Cosmopolitan) and Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith supported the piece, and the “reporter” who wrote the article awkwardly defended her work, condemnation of the cheap shot was widespread. From Catholics to Evangelicals, and gay activist liberals to libertarians, Buzzfeed was slammed for creating a controversy to attack one of America’s most popular couples.
HGTV is hardly a defender of socially conservative values anyway. Breitbart noted that two of the network’s other shows, “Property Brothers” and “House Hunters,” have featured gay couples. Furthermore, HGTV was the network from which the Benham Brothers were evicted in 2014 after Right Wing Watch discovered they were active in supporting pro-life and pro-family values. (The Benhams’ show was to be called “Flip it Forward,” in which the real estate entrepreneurs would help couples in debt flip homes to pay off their debts.)
As if it needed to, HGTV told Huffington Post on Thursday, “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.”
Despite this generally pro-LGBT corporate position, and its cowardice regarding the Benhams, HGTV appears to be sticking with the Gaineses:
— HGTV (@hgtv) December 1, 2016
There are a few lessons here for social conservatives and our ideological opponents at Buzzfeed and elsewhere:
1. Economics is king on TV. Phil Robertson is still at A&E because his family brings the network lots of money. Likewise, the Duggars weathered several similar controversies before being sidelined due to Josh Duggar’s past sexual problems.
2. Social conservative Christians really are under attack. Though it was certainly Buzzfeed’s right (as a private publication) to publish this drivel, the fact that they did so — and got some public support for it — is just the latest example.
3. “Professional” liberals really are quite disconnected from mainstream America. Most people simply don’t care whether the Gaineses’ church teaches for or against abortion, for or against marriage, and so on. They just want to watch a show they really like.
4. Related to Point 3 — many liberals not only don’t care about the activist Left, but also recognize their own movement has gone too far.