BuzzFeed comes under fire for bizarre story on HGTV couple's same-sex marriage beliefs

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

BuzzFeed was fiercely criticized online on Wednesday and into Thursday after the website published a controversial story about the stars of the HGTV show "Fixer Upper."

The story centered on the views Chip and Joanna Gaines have toward same-sex couples. Reporter Kate Arthur, who was unable to obtain comment from the couple, only wrote that their church stands "firmly against same-sex marriage."

"Their pastor considers homosexuality to be a 'sin' caused by abuse — whether the Fixer Upper couple agrees is unclear," Arthur wrote.

The guilt-by-association nature of the story prompted an intense backlash.

See photos of Chip and Joanna Gaines:

10 PHOTOS
'Fixer Upper' Joanna & Chip Gaines
See Gallery
'Fixer Upper' Joanna & Chip Gaines
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Designers Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines attend AOL Build Presents: 'Fixer Upper' at AOL Studios In New York on December 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Designers Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend AOL Build Presents: 'Fixer Upper' at AOL Studios In New York on December 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
THE CHEW - Chip and Joanna Gaines as well as Victoria Justice are the guests on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 on ABC's 'The Chew.' 'The Chew' airs MONDAY - FRIDAY (1-2pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) CARLA HALL, CHIP GAINES, MICHAEL SYMON, JOANNA GAINES, DAPHNE OZ, CLINTON KELLY
THE CHEW - Chip and Joanna Gaines as well as Victoria Justice are the guests on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 on ABC's 'The Chew.' 'The Chew' airs MONDAY - FRIDAY (1-2pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) JOANNA GAINES, MICHAEL SYMON, CHIP GAINES
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines appear to promote 'The Magnolia Story' during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines appear to promote 'The Magnolia Story' during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend The Build Series to discuss 'The Magnolia Story' at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend The Build Series to discuss 'The Magnolia Story' at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend The Build Series to discuss 'The Magnolia Story' at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/WireImage)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"Maybe don't do this, BuzzFeed," wrote conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat.

National Review contributor Jim Geraghty wrote that BuzzFeed had allowed a "social-media-mob-stirring, guilt-by-association, drive-out-the-heretics philosophy" to govern its editorial decision making.

Others went even further.

Erick Erickson, editor of conservative website The Resurgent, wrote that "the article is blatant bigotry against Bible believing Christians."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee joined in on the savaging against the "bigots from BuzzFeed" in a Thursday morning email to supporters:

"As several critics have noted, both on TV and in real life, Chip and Joanna Gaines appear to be model parents, loving spouses, funny, intelligent, likable, generous, highly skilled and extremely successful. And maybe that's the real problem that BuzzFeed's writers have. Their popularity shatters the false image that liberal media outlets like BuzzFeed peddle of red state residents being a bunch of dumb, hateful, bigoted 'deplorables.'"

The story also had critics raising other questions about BuzzFeed.

"BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief Ben Smith famously declared that the company's official editorial policy on same-sex marriage was that 'there are not two sides to the issue.' Does BuzzFeed apply that same standard when it comes to hiring and employment?" asked Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, in an email to Business Insider.

A representative for BuzzFeed did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday morning, but Smith defended the story on Twitter.

"This is a story about a big company, HGTV, refusing to say whether they ban LGBT people from a TV show," Smith wrote. "They should just answer the question."

NOW WATCH: Trump goes on a tweetstorm less than 48 hours after promising to be more 'restrained' on Twitter

See Also:


Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL and get the top celebrity, movies, music and TV news delivered to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners