Hosts of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”, husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, get the apology they feel they deserve.
The reality television stars were the targets of a scathing opinion piece by writer Daryl Austin for USA Today. At the time, Austin suggested the Gaineses could not possibly have enough time to be good parents considering their time-consuming careers.
“No matter how rich and famous, we are all limited by the same 24 hours in a day,” Austin previously wrote. “You cannot do all they’ve done (or even a fraction of it) and still have any real time left over for family. Frankly, I wonder where they even find the time to brush their teeth, let alone spend quality, one-on-one time with each child daily.”
The writer said Chip and Joanna, who have four children and a fifth en route, “don’t put family first,” despite having never met the Gaineses in person.
Chip disputed the column’s merit on Twitter:
In a new column for Fox News, Austin apologized for criticizing the “Fixer Upper” stars. “I don’t know them personally, but I suspect they really are terrific parents,” Austin wrote. “I’ve never said or thought otherwise. And just because Chip Gaines chooses to spend his time differently than I do doesn’t make him any less of a father.
“Mine was a flawed argument that projected my if/then belief system onto another family,” he continued. “My intention was to start a conversation about what it actually means to put family first but my means of doing so were way off course.”
“If our society is ever going to have the conversations we need to be having, judging and shaming one another is a terrible place to begin, especially when there are so many more serious concerns that need addressing.”
Austin’s change of perspective was due in part to a trip he took to Mexico and where he witnessed “many children all over the world were suffering even more” than the Gaines family. “How lucky any of those kids without parents would feel to have a mother and father like Chip and Joanna Gaines,” he concluded.
HGTV is currently airing 13 episodes of “Fixer Upper”.