The Scandal That Rocked Chip & Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network

Launching the Magnolia Network was a big deal for Chip and Joanna Gaines, but just days after hitting the air, a massive scandal rattled the network. The controversy? One of the shows, "Home Work," came under fire after revelations came to light that didn't exactly flatter its hosts, Candis and Andy Meredith. 

Four years after leaving HGTV, Chip and Joanna revealed on "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" that they would be heading up their very own network. In January 2022, Magnolia Network launched, and "Home Work" became one of the first shows on the lineup. Exciting times, no doubt ... until two days post-launch, when past clients of the Merediths took to Instagram to share their not-so-great experiences with the couple. One unhappy homeowner, Teisha Satterfield Hawley, claimed she and her husband were told by the Merediths that they'd exhausted their budget, despite no prior warnings. Another, Aubry Bennion, claimed a flooring company put a tax lien on her home because the Merediths hadn't paid them — and said the delays impacted her ability to earn a living creating content in her home. Vienna Goates complained that only part of the money she and her husband gave the couple was refunded when they tried to stop the project. 

Obviously, the situation was scandalous. It wasn't exactly surprising that Chip and Joanna temporarily canceled "Home Work." That said, the matter was resolved exceptionally quickly, and the show even returned to the lineup. 

The Magnolia Network investigated the Merediths

In the wake of the scandal blowing up on social media, Magnolia Network made a statement on the matter. "Within the last few days, we have learned additional information about the scope of these issues, and we have decided to remove 'Home Work' from the Magnolia Network lineup pending a review of the claims that have been made," they told The Hollywood Reporter

The scandal got messier when the Merediths started sharing their responses to the claims. While we won't get into everything that was said, in a series of posts, both Candis and Andy broke down the claims against them and even proved they'd done what they could to rectify some situations, like repaying the Goates family. They also made a point of noting that they'd been taken aback by the social media revelations, as they hadn't been told about issues prior to that. In particular, they said they felt Aubry Bennion was intentionally trying to destroy their business. Nevertheless, both Andy and Candis shared that they didn't want to diminish anyone's feelings.

Not long after, things took a completely unexpected turn. Less than a week after taking "Home Work" off the air, Magnolia Network shared in a statement published by Variety that following a thorough investigation including testimonies from everyone involved, "We do not believe there was ill or malicious intent." The statement also shared that the show would return to the lineup — but not before the network had settled any outstanding issues. 

Home Work never returned for a sophomore season

Even with the scandal, "Home Work" ultimately picked up the 2022 Daytime Emmy for outstanding instructional and how-to program. Nevertheless, there's no denying that Candis and Andy Meredith have been pretty quiet in the time since. Sure, they took to Instagram to celebrate their Emmy nomination and win and even posted about their "Home Work" holiday special, but other than that, they've largely stayed out of the limelight. 

There's a good chance their absence has something to do with the way the backlash affected their family. As Candis shared in one of her Instagram posts in response to the scandal, their kids were picked on over the situation. That would have been enough to give most parents pause before signing up for another show, but that wasn't all. As the couple shared in the accompanying caption of the bullying post, they'd also been sent death threats. Evidently, the authorities took those threats very seriously, as the family's home was placed under surveillance as a result. 

Of course, there's also a chance the couple has been working on something behind-the-scenes and that they will make a return at some point. We'll have to sit tight and see if that's the case. Either way, we're wishing them healing — and hoping that anyone who felt wronged has healed, too.