HGTV fans will soon have a new reason to shop at Target.
The Minnesota-based retail giant unveiled plans this week for a new home decor collection called Hearth & Hand with Magnolia. The line, which is slated to hit stores Nov. 5, will be a partnership with Chip and Joanna Gaines, the hosts of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.”
News of the collaboration ― though lauded by some ― appears to have incensed a number of “Fixer Upper” viewers. Some blasted the news on Twitter, arguing that the couple, who are evangelical Christians, should reconsider their partnership with Target as the retailer allows transgender employees and customers to use restrooms and fitting rooms that best align with their gender identity.
Response to the Gaines’ Facebook post announcing the line was similarly split.
“As much as I love Chip and Joanna, not even their product will get me to shop at Target again. Sorry, I’ll look for another place to buy your product,” one person wrote. Added another: “Why would you sell at Target when so many wonderful shops would love to have your merchandise? Sorry I won’t be able to buy it, haven’t set foot in there since they announced either gender can use dressing rooms and bathrooms.”
In 2016, American Family Association called for a boycott of Target after the company announced that trans staff and patrons would be “welcome” to use bathrooms and fitting room facilities that correspond with their gender identity. “We stand for equality and equity,” Target officials said at the time, “and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day.”
Similarly, the Gaineses found themselves at the epicenter of a media firestorm last year after a BuzzFeed article reported that they attended an anti-LGBTQ church. In January, Chip Gaines appeared to respond to the controversy in an impassioned blog.
“Joanna and I have personal convictions,” he wrote. “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.”
HuffPost has reached out to a representative for the Gaineses seeking comment. Meanwhile, Chip Gaines said he and Joanna were jubilant about the partnership in a Tuesday blog post on the couple’s official website.
“Despite our initial insecurities about partnering with a large retailer, Target has exceeded our expectations every step of the way,” he wrote. “With our friends, our family and with the people we do business with, we are serious about continually finding common ground. We are thankful to get to work side by side with the people at Target.”
He then added, “We believe we are going to build something really beautiful together and that our positive impact will be far greater now than it would ever be apart.”
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