HGTV shows are all about home improvement, but from time to time the network has to do some image repair when its stars and series have caused scandals. Here are the top HGTV scandals:
1. ‘Property Brothers’ bar brawl
One of the “Property Brothers” stars, Jonathan Scott, made headlines after an attention-grabbing bar fight in North Dakota in June. Reports at the time stated the fight broke out when the bar closed and Scott and others became upset when their drinks were taken away. TMZ reported the bar’s bouncer had Scott in a headlock and the TV star called 911 to report that he’d been assaulted. Following the incident, Fargo City attorney Erik Johnson announced no charges would be filed due to a lack of evidence. Scott later told Fox News of the incident: "The press sometimes jumps onto something. For me, the funny thing is I was just trying to help somebody in that situation. I'm the type of person like on our shows, we're helping families."
2. ‘Fixer Upper’ fake?
In November 2016, a show participant from “Fixer Upper” told Fox News the house hunting scenes on the show are scripted. Each episode features participants touring three homes and eventually picking one to be their fixer upper. David Ridley told us he purchased his home before he was selected to be on the show, and he claimed that was a prerequisite for his selection for the series. A close look at the show’s application seemed to corroborate his claim. HGTV wouldn’t comment on the accusations directly. Click here for more on the story.
3. 'Fixer Upper' church controversy
The Gaines were slammed on social media after a Buzzfeed article revealed the pastor at their church had been known to make anti-gay remarks. The stars of "Fixer Upper" chose to remain mostly silent on the subject, and many fans defended the reality stars and slammed Buzzfeed for going after them. Chip Gaines wrote on Twitter at the time, "In times of trouble.. you'll find the Gaines family at church."
4. ‘Rehab Addict's’ secret pregnancy
Nicole Curtis, the star of “Rehab Addict,” was pregnant with her second child while filming the show, but she opted to hide her burgeoning baby belly from the cameras. Curtis has stated she covered her stomach with objects and didn’t want the public to find out she was expecting because she wanted her second child to have a more private life than her older son, who is featured on her show. “Having my newborn child’s face plastered all over social media on a Facebook post where someone could cut and paste it and make it a meme, that wasn’t for me,” she told People.
5. Curtis' court troubles
Curtis also made headlines for her various battles in court. The star has been in a lengthy and messy custody battle with the father of her youngest child. Curtis' mother also filed a protective order against her. Additionally, the star was sued by the city of Minneapolis over claims she failed to redevelop a property she purchased for $2. Curtis has said she was "threatened and harassed" during the back-and-forth with the city.
6. ‘Love It or List It’ home destroyed?
A North Carolina couple filed a lawsuit in April 2016 against the production company behind “Love it or List It,” claiming their home was left “irreparably damaged” after the show. The couple stated producers hired a contractor that the couple didn’t agree to work with. They also claimed in the suit that the show was somewhat staged, arguing people featured on the series are told what to say and how to act.
7. ‘Flip it Forward’… or not
Scandal destroyed “Flip it Forward” before it could ever make it to the small screen. The show was destined for HGTV in October 2014, but one of the star’s comments about same-sex marriage, abortion and Islam caused complaints, and the show was shut down before it ever got off the ground.
8. 'House Hunters' staged?
Rumors have plagued “House Hunters” for years with claims the show is scripted. Back in 2010, the blog Hooked on Houses published a firsthand account from a woman featured on “House Hunters” in which the woman detailed the way producers allegedly script the series. HGTV has avoided formally commenting on the allegations, but over the summer, the network released a tongue-in-cheek video that showed writers scripting an episode of the series.
9. 'Flip or Flop's' marriage flop
In December 2016, Tarek and Christina El Moussa announced they had split up, surprising many fans of their HGTV show. News of the breakup revealed that Tarek and Christina had a blowout fight months earlier in May 2016, and police were called after Tarek was spotted with a gun. The breakup left the fate of the series up-in-the-air since it was unclear if the exes would continue working together for the cameras, but on April 24, 2017 Tarek and Christina announced they had signed on for more episodes. HGTV announced several "Flip or Flop" spinoffs following the drama.
10. 'Flip or Flop' fan scam
Long before their breakup made waves, fans of the show "Flip or Flop" complained that the series' stars were involved in a scam. Fans signed up for pricey how-to house flipping classes that boasted stars Tarek and Christina El Moussa could teach them how to flip homes, but more than a dozen people interviewed by the Associated Press expressed serious disappointment in the quality of the courses. They complained the stars weren't present at the classes, which they said lacked instruction and focused on pushing additional costly courses. HGTV stated at the time it wasn't associated with the controversial classes.