Magnolia Network, the cable network and streaming app from “Fixer Upper” couple Chip and Joanna Gaines, has removed a show from its lineup after claims the hosts botched some home renovations “in pursuit of their own financial gain and fame.”
A series of lengthy Instagram posts shared last week by Aubry Bennion detailed she was one of four homeowners who reached out to Magnolia as well as the Utah Department of Commerce’s Consumer Protection Division about their experiences working with Utah-based home-renovating couple Candis and Andy Meredith for a show that would become Magnolia’s “Home Work.”
“Magnolia Network is aware that certain homeowners have expressed concerns about renovation projects undertaken by Candis and Andy Meredith,” Magnolia Network president Allison Page said Saturday in a statement to USA TODAY. “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 line up pending a review of the claims that have been made.”
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In Bennion’s story, which she said began in August 2019, she said her initial estimate for a “full gut job” renovation of her kitchen was $40,000 to 50,000, but said the Merediths claimed they could complete the project for half. Instead, she said the experience was full of “disastrous” communication, “unlicensed and uninsured workers,” a project promised to last three weeks that ended up taking more than five months without any indication from the Merediths or the production team of when it would be completed, and an ultimate cost of $40,000 out of Bennion’s own budget that she says doesn’t add up to the cost of materials.
“I share with hope that they will be held accountable for the ways in which they’ve hurt those of us left in the wake of their work,” Bennion wrote, adding “if I knew at the start how miserable and unnerving the process would be, I wouldn’t have gone through with any of it.”
Andy and Candis Meredith shared a statement Friday on Instagram, slamming the “Instagram mafia” that they say put out a “smear campaign,” spreading “half-truths” about their work.
“Whatever was wanted from this campaign I believe has happened – so many believe that we are frauds, that we have hurt people intentionally, and that we are not who we say we are. That is simply not true.”
Since her home renovation, Bennion said Candis Meredith reached out to her to make sure “everything was OK between us,” at which point Bennion reiterated that she found the process unacceptable.
“Names and stories continue to come to the surface of people who felt like they were one off victims of Candis and Andy who didn’t have anyone to turn to at the time like we did as participants in the show,” Bennion continued. “Behind the scenes, it’s been two years of speaking with lawyers, learning of the stacks of unpaid civil judgements Candis and Andy have ignored, and attempting to get the attention of those give them the rope from which they hang their victims in pursuit of their own financial gain and fame.”
She added: “The values and morals that the world loves about Magnolia and Chip and Jo have not evidenced themselves here. It’s disappointing and heartbreaking. I was Magnolia’s most loyal supporter but now find myself a victim of their growth and greed.”