Almost a week after Kate Aurthur’s BuzzFeed hit piece went viral, Chip and Joanna Gaines have maintained silence on their same-sex marriage stance. However, the Fixer Upper stars have spoken up about Aurthur and Gina Mei, the author of a widely cited Cosmo piece on the Christian couple.
Rather than lashing out in response to the hit piece targeted against them, the Gaineses have handled the media maelstrom maturely. On the morning of December 3, Chip tweeted: “Regardless of our decision to make a statement about all this craziness, or not, I ask that people please! Respect @KateAurthur & @ginamei.”
This appeared to come in response to a tweet from Aurthur posted the preceding day, which read: “The people calling me a ‘c--t’ and wishing death upon me have a strange interpretation of what Chip and Joanna Gaines would want.”
Aurthur’s article was clearly designed to force a statement from the Gaineses on same-sex marriage; however, when it first surfaced, Chip’s tweets proved that he and Joanna were focusing on God and their family.
“U know.. even as all hell ‘appears’ to be breaking loose,” he posted on December 1, “All I have to do is look at my 4 precious babies sleeping, or kiss Jo good morning.” The next day, Chip quoted a passage from Ephesians 2, and then on December 4, informed his followers that “In times of trouble.. you'll find the gaines family at church.”
Yet, the Gaines’ gracious response is not likely to win over everyone. On November 29, Jezebel writer Bobby Finger conceded that the couple should not “feel pressured” to hide their faith. However, he continued, “their specific association with the Antioch Community Church…should act as a nice slap in the face every time you’re won over by what appears to be a family bursting at the seams with wholesomeness.”
Finger’s jab at the Gaines’ sincerity raises an important point. Aurthur’s hit piece was not a result of a rude or controversial comment from the Christian couple, who are beloved by Fixer Upper viewers for their sweetness and charisma. The “non-story,” as gay writer Brandon Ambrosino aptly called it, flowed directly from the lesbian journalist’s own agenda. Although Aurthur’s Twitter feed shows her own lack of interest in marriage, it also reveals her combative stance toward those who oppose same-sex unions. In a 2010 tweet, she declared: “I’m not one to get gay married myself, but these delays are ABSURD. Get out of the way, anti-gay marriage people, you are wasting your time!”
Finger has more grounds to question Aurthur’s wholesomeness than he does the Gaines’.
On December 1, Blaze TV host Dana Loesch tweeted her frustration at the BuzzFeed writer: “Don’t you people every get tired of trying to manufacture controversy and ruin people?” When Alex Varney, producer of Blaze TV’s Dana, reached out to Aurthur about a possible appearance on the show, she tweeted out Varney’s cell number in revenge.
Despite Aurthur’s immature reaction, HGTV responded admirably to the whole situation. First, the channel announced that Fixer Upper would willingly highlight a gay couple. Then, it made a statement in support of Gaineses with the tweet: “Chip and Jo, congratulations on your record-breaking premiere! We can’t wait for the rest of the season!” HGTV’s Twitter account also featured a new cover photo highlighting the couple.
In the end, it’s important to follow Chip’s advice and refrain from personally attacking Aurthur. But when it comes to earning respect, HGTV and the Gaineses are the winners.