In a rare interview, Chip and Joanna Gaines are responding to criticism of their former HGTV show, "Fixer Upper."
Before they decided to bring their show to an end and started up their own Magnolia Network, the pair were often called out for their perceived lack of diversity on the Waco, Texas-based series. During its initial run, no LGBTQ home owners were ever featured -- and the pair raised even more eyebrows after releasing a video with a pastor opposed to equal rights.
Their latest interview with The Hollywood Reporter also noted that the two were silent when Chip's sister spoke out against teaching critical race theory in school.
"Sometimes I'm like, 'Can I just make a statement?'" Joanna told the publication, which noted she was also tearing up as she spoke. "The accusations that get thrown at you, like you're a racist or you don't like people in the LGBTQ community, that's the stuff that really eats my lunch — because it’s so far from who we really are. That’s the stuff that keeps me up."
"Growing up as half-Asian, half-Caucasian, I get what that feels like to not be accepted and to not be loved," Joanna, whose mother is Korean, continued. "That's the last thing I want anyone to ever feel."
While Chip admitted that "as an American white male, it's hard to be perfectly diverse" himself, he added that with their own Magnolia company and its nearly 700 employees, "one of our biggest passions is making this group represent all people." THR also noted that the two would "rather be judged by their actions ... they're now making on their network."
It should be noted, one of the streamer's first series, "Mind for Design," is hosted by gay designer Brian Patrick Flynn. Magnolia Network launches this month.
The two have addressed race and sexuality before, in a blog post Chip shared back in 2017, following the 2016 election cycle. Speaking about the "divided" country, he stressed the importance of engaging with "people who are different from us with dignity and with love."
"Joanna and I have personal convictions. One of them is this: we care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbor on planet earth," he added. "It's not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith. That's all fascinating, but it cannot add or take away from the reality that we're already pulling for you. We are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other, don't ask us to cause we won't play that way."