Some people have drama follow them wherever they go and no matter what they do. It’s inescapable, no matter how hard you try and avoid it. Interior designers and hosts of HGTV’s Fixer Uppers are two people that have seemingly had some sort of scandal attached to their name at every turn they make in their careers.
Over the years, home decorating’s power couple Chip and Joanna Gaines have seen what happens when the dark side of fame creeps up on you. They’ve been hit with scammers trying to take advantage of their name and ex-working partners accusing them of bad business. They just can’t seem to catch a break.
There have been plenty of huge scandals that have taken place over the years, ever since they first hit the big screen in 2014 with their hit-tv show. Let’s examine some of the headline-snatching dramas that have come their way through the careers of Chip and Joanna Gaines.
A married couple
Firstly, let’s go back to the beginning, where Chip and Joanna met shortly after their college years at Baylor University. Their eyes first met when Chip came into the auto-repair garage where Joanna was working at the time to get the brakes on his car looked at.
According to Joanna, she instantly fell for his sense of humor. After dating for a number of years, they eventually married in 2003 where they would them go on to have a happy life together in both their loving marriage and their successful careers.
Shortly after they tied the knot, the pair decided to run a joint business venture together in the form of their first ‘Little Shop on Bosque’, which unknowingly to them, would be the start of their multi-million dollar home renovation empire, Magnolia Markets.
As the years went by, Chip and Joanna started a family, trying to juggle a successfully running company with multiple market stores and two terror toddlers at home. They eventually made the decision to close their stores and focus on home life, which is what gave them the time to then focus on another business venture – Magnolia Home, their construction business. This was when their skills as a pair of creative spouses really came into their own.
The development of their construction company allowed them to flourish individually too, with Chip learning what it takes to be an enterprising construction contractor, and Joanna developed her skills in creative style and design. The married couple lives in Waco, Central Texas, and their business tagline was once “making Waco beautiful one home at a time.”
It was this ambition that soon landed them their own TV show, a home renovation reality TV series called Fixer Uppers which would ultimately be the making of their household names in America. Since the show’s pilot in 2014, five successful seasons has grown and expanded their enterprise even more, and the couple is always announcing a new business venture they have set their sights on to tackle.
Never far from drama
However successful they may be in their careers, it doesn’t mean everything for them is plain sailing. The couple has been caught up in a whole host of controversial dramas, each one having the potential to damage their careers, but thankfully none have just yet.
Fixer Uppers’s last season ended in late 2017, but since then, the pair have not let the show’s cancellation stop their careers from keeping up momentum. Their total net worth is said to be around $8 million, and they sure have made a name for themselves in both the realms of TV and the interior design market too. But what scandal stories have threatened all of this success and fortune? Let’s take a look.
As we’ve mentioned, Chip and Joanna have a variety of different business partners and associates, which must mean keeping an eye on every little detail at all times is virtually impossible. However, slip-ups always come out of the woodwork in the end.
One problem that the couple encountered was when Joanna shook hands with Standard Furniture Manufacturing Company Inc. (SFMC), making a deal that she could sell furniture from her Magnolia Home Collection through their contract. However, things didn’t go quite to plan when SFMC used a different company to who Joanna usually uses to manufacture the furniture. The manufacturing company in talking is LF products, who with the beady of Joanna, didn’t do as they were supposed to.
After masses of furniture orders were confirmed and manufactured, Joanna one day decided to go check out the finishing product with LF products. However, after she arrived, Joanna noticed that some of the products didn’t use the correct material that had been built into the design.
A cheaper low-quality version replaced the water-buffalo hide that designer Joanna agreed with them to use on the products.
As a result, contractors SFMC filed a lawsuit against manufacturers LF products, wanting them to cover the costs of the mass orders which were now deemed “substandard and unsellable”.
Joanna herself was not directly involved with the suing, but her words were needed at court proceedings in which she requested to be paid $150,000 per hour due to the inconvenience it caused her and the successful running of their business.
New skincare line
Another scandal to hit Chip and Joanna was in 2017 when their name and identity was fraudulently used to promote a supposed ‘new skincare line’. Rumors were rife at the time, with there being a huge uproar about her and hubby Chip leaving their hit-tv show to focus on the skincare industry.
However, this was a totally false claim, and the couple had no part in the reported new skincare range. It was a fraudulent scam.
The skincare line was selling legitimate products but was illegally using her name to promote their products even though they had nothing to do with Joanna. She had never even been in contact with the fraudulent business before.
This is a clear example of how companies can so easily endorse and brand their products around someone who has nothing to do with them. But of course, most of these fraudsters do get caught in the end.
After finding out about the illegal advertisements from the skincare range, Joanna made sure she was more than vocal in detaching their name from the business and moving forward from it.
Taking to her Instagram, Joanna hit out at the scam, claiming how “There has been a rumor going around about us leaving Fixer Uppers to start our own skincare range. This is simply not true. This is an absolute SCAM! We have nothing to do with it. #dontbuythecream”
There’s no doubt that Chip and Joanna have become massive style icons when it comes to contemporary interior design. They’re known for their modern farmhouse aesthetic and their worship of rustic wood-focussed appearances that they promoted through the use of recycled wood.
With this in mind, perhaps the most bizarre controversy attached to their name is when they were accused of being the sole reason there was an increase in the crimes of wood-stealing across rural Kentucky.
According to recent crime statistics, Kentucky saw a huge boost in the reporting of thieves stealing reclaimed wood across the state’s owned domestic farmland.
The mass crime spree apparently came about when the show became massively popular, influencing people to strip barns of reusable wood and other materials in order to achieve the weathered-rustic look that Chip and Joanna became famous for popularizing.
Of course, Chip and Joanna hit out at these accusations, stating that they in no way advocated or encouraged people to steal materials to get the look. According to law-enforcement officials, the ransacking of barn wood has become a real problem across 13 states that cannot be ignored.
Although their show did favor using reclaimed wood to get the ‘farmhouse chic’ look, the couple has insisted they themselves are too concerned that people are taking their advice down a new illegal direction.
A painting scandal
However, Chip and Joanna haven’t always gotten away with the accusations thrown their way. In 2018 they faced a lawsuit against them that suggested they irresponsibly used lead-based paint without undertaking the correct safety protocols.
It’s commonly known that when removing lead-based paint, you need to cover-floors with plastic to ensure all paint chippings are captured and disposed of properly. Failure to do so can lead to lead-poisoning in those who inhale the chippings, causing adverse health effects on the nervous system and internal organs.
After seeing the couple irresponsibly remove lead-based paint on some of the home renovations, the Environmental Protection Agency decided to legally review footage from some episodes of Fixer Uppers.
They eventually claimed that as accountable promoters of such materials, they did indeed carelessly fail to carry out the correct procedures. The couple was ultimately fined over $40,000 for their wrong-doings and have since done all that can to prove they have learned their lesson.
In order to make amends, Chip and Joanna released a video online of Chip discussing the hazards surrounding lead-based paint, giving safety tips and re-correcting the details of the proper use.
This was shown on Fixer Uppers and posted on their social media pages too. The couple has also put $160,000 into Waco’s lead-paint abatement program that aims to reduce the use of the paint in homes, schools, and other child-occupied buildings.
Chip and Joanna have made a fantastic name for themselves in the interior design world, and you only need to look at their back catalog of makeovers to see they really do know what they’re doing.
Your home getting a makeover from them would be a dream come true for most people, and for some, the chance did literally stay as only a dream. This comes after an online scam circulated, falsely promising recipients that they were in on a chance of winning a makeover.
The scam was targeting people via email, sent from a person fraudulently claiming to be a representative of the couple. The email was promising all those who respond to the message that they would be entered into a draw to win a home makeover.
The true identity of the scammer is still unknown, but Chip and Joanna were quick to respond to the scam going round, confirming that it was, in fact, a dangerous hoax.
Taking to their social media pages, Joanna and Chip commented on the ordeal saying: “We have been made fully aware that there is an ongoing internet scam claiming to be affiliates of our design and construction company.
We suggest you simply do not engage with the scam.” They then encouraged people to always engage with their official pages and contact details only because there is always the chance that people are trying to cash in by falsely using their name and company.
The couple has also hit the headlines with the controversy surrounding their parenting. These accustions sure did ruffle Chip and Joanna’s feathers. Quite rightly so too. It all started when Daryl Austin, a columnist from USA Today, decided to attack the married couple for the seeming lack of importance that they put on their family.
In the column, Daryl commented saying: “they are totally kidding themselves if they believe they can still give their kids the time and attention they deserve.”
Daryl continued saying: “It makes me wonder – at what point did it stop being about providing for their family and start being about only themselves?” This negative article caught the attention of Chip, and he for sure had something to say on the matter.
Chip fired back saying: “I don’t know who Daryl is and he quite clearly doesn’t know me. But I just want to confirm something – if there is ever a family need, the circus is shut down so fast it makes your head.”
After realizing that he went a little too far, to say the least, Daryl issued an apology to Chip and his wife. He confirmed that he regrets making the statements, saying his perspective has changed after seeing footage of a family trip they took to Mexico.
He specifically said:“I have come to realize how lucky their children are. Any kids without parents would be lucky to have a mom and dad like Joanna and Chip.”
Making it big can often come with a lot of downfalls, and there’s usually a lot of ex-friends who come forward to the press claiming that their now-celebrity friend dropped them without a care in the world after they became famous.
Chip and Joanna haven’t escaped this type of accusation either. In 2017, an ex-business partner of Chip, John Lewis, sold a story on him claiming: “After his show took off, I never heard from him again.”
John Lewis continued saying: “..there was a massive sense of betrayal and frustration.” These comments made by Lewis came after he and another ex-partner Richard Clark filed a lawsuit against Chip worth $1 million.
The lawsuit was based on the accusations that Chip bought them out of a company without informing them that a deal had been made with HGTV. Both John Lewis and Richard Clark suggest Chip fraudulently knew their relationship was over before they did.
However, Chip didn’t go down without a fight. He hired a lawyer and entirely disputed the claims, calling the allegations made against him as “utterly meritless.” He also made a tweet aimed at John and Richard, which eventually went viral.
It read: “So, I’ve had the same cell phone for 15 years, the same email for 20 years. No one called me or emailed? Then four years later, they reach out via a lawsuit. Hmmmm”
Although their hit TV show Fixer Uppers is no longer on screen, the couple is far from being put back on the dusty shelf. Most recently, Joanna opened a gorgeous new coffee shop in Waco, and they have also announced that they are launching their own cable network.
In-depth details of the new channel are scarce, but they have revealed that their programming will indeed feature themselves and their family. We cannot wait! It looks like everyone’s favorite DIY couple are officially back. Bring it on.