Why We’re Worried About Chip And Joanna Gaines

Chip and Joanna Gaines announced in late September 2017 that they were ending Fixer Upper, the wildly successful home renovation TV series that began in 2013.

“It is with both sadness and expectation that we share the news that season 5 of Fixer Upper will be our last,” the couple wrote on its blog. “While we are confident that this is the right choice for us, it has for sure not been an easy one to come to terms with. Our family has grown up alongside yours, and we have felt you rooting us on from the other side of the screen. How bittersweet to say goodbye to the very thing that introduced us all in the first place.”

While Chip and Joanna claim to want to settle down and spend time with their kids, we’re a bit concerned for the future of this adorable, down-home couple. Aside from their potential struggles as a pairing, they are also dealing with a slew of drama outside their relationship that could easily cause tension within it. Here’s why we’re worried about Chip and Joanna’s marriage—and their empire. (Seriously, we’re going to miss all that shiplap.)

Chip is being sued for fraud…

In April 2017, KWTX obtained a lawsuit accusing Chip of fraud. Filed by his old business partners, John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark (no relation to the explorers), the suit claims Chip encouraged his partners to sell their shares in Magnolia Realty right before revealing that he and Joanna were getting a TV show.

“At a time when only the Defendants knew that Fixer Upper had been fast-tracked for a one-hour premiere on HGTV and was on the verge of radically changing their lives and business enterprises, Chip Gaines conspired to eliminate his business partners—notwithstanding their longstanding friendship—in order to ensure that he alone would profit from Magnolia Realty’s association with Fixer Upper,” the suit reads. The lawsuit, which also alleges that Chip threatened Clark and Lewis over text messages, seeks more than $1 million in damages, as well an non-monetary relief.

…but he denies the allegations

Chip denied that Lewis and Clark contacted him about their Magnolia Realty shares prior to suing him. “Fyi: I’ve had the same cell [number for] 15 yrs.. same email for 20 [years]. No one called or emailed? [Four] years later ‘friends’ reach out via lawsuit.. Humm,” he tweeted.

Chip’s attorney told Fox News, “We are confident that these claims will be found to be meritless, and it is disappointing to see people try to take advantage of the hard work and success of Chip and Joanna Gaines.”

However, Lewis and Clark’s lawyer told Radar Online, “They did contact him. [Chip] turned it over to his lawyer and the discussions that ensued were between lawyers… There is a four year statute of limitations in Texas that governs these complaints… the case had to be filed or it was lost.” The attorney added, “We’ve tried to resolve it quickly… We’ve been doing it for a while. [But] you have to have both sides together to make a settlement. They do not appear to want to come to the table to settle, so we will do the lawsuit thing, which is to file it, set it to trial, take it to the court, and let the court decide.”

They were accused of being homophobic…

In November 2016, BuzzFeed reported that Chip and Joanna are members of the Antioch Community Church, which has a firm stance against same-sex marriage and reportedly engages in controversial LGBT conversion therapy. The report noted that unlike House Hunters or The Property Brothers, Fixer Upper never featured same-sex couples on the show. The article stirred up a slew of backlash against the couple and the series.

HGTV denied the homophobia allegations in a statement, telling BuzzFeed, “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.” 

Before commenting on his beliefs, Chip actually defended the author of the BuzzFeed piece, as well as a Cosmopolitan editor who picked up the story, from conservatives who trolled the journalists after the story went viral. Chip tweeted, “Regardless of our decision to make a statement about all this craziness, or not, I ask that people please! respect @KateAurthur & @ginamei.”

…but denied it

Chip responded to BuzzFeed’s report in a blog post, writing, “In my lifetime, I can’t recall humanity being more divided. Plenty of folks are sad and scared and angry and there are sound bites being fed to us that seem fueled by judgement, fear and even hatred. Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm an already hurting world, this is our home. A house divided cannot stand… If there is any hope for all of us to move forward, to heal and to grow—we have got to learn to engage people who are different from us with dignity and with love.” 

He continued, “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. 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…we’re already pulling for you… Jo and I don’t want to hide, we want to live brave & bold lives and we wish that same thing for you as well. But words can cut deep and having someone misunderstand your intentions can hurt as much as just about anything. If I misjudge people and am wrong, I want to be wrong having assumed the best about them. The bottom line is, I would rather be loving than be right.”

At the time of this writing, Joanna has not spoken publicly about her views on homosexuality.

They don’t agree on having more kids

Another cause for a potential split, or at least tension in their marriage, is Joanna and Chip’s differing opinions on expanding their family. They currently share sons Drake and Duke and daughters Ella and Emmie Kay.

During an October 2016 AOL Build Series talk, Joanna announced, “I’m trying to talk him into another child… He’s not interested.”

In June 2017, Joanna also told People, “I would love another baby—or twins! The kids are always asking me, ‘Mom, can you have another baby?’ But Chip thinks we’re done.” She added, “[Daughter] Emmie has never really wanted [a younger sibling], and now she’s like, ‘Okay. I want a brother or sister.’ So I’m thinking that might be a sign.” 

Chip quipped, “I think that’s a sign that Emmie’s lost her mind.”

Their body language isn’t promising

In their official video announcing the end of Fixer Upper, Chip is his usual warm, chipper self. He maintains a smile throughout the clip, while Joanna seems uncomfortable—like she’s either on the verge of tears or struggling to stifle an eye roll at any given moment. Though they’re holding hands and sitting together, take a look at how they’re sitting: Joanna’s legs are facing away from Chip, a sign that body language experts claim means that she’s withdrawing and uninterested (or unattracted) to her husband.