Scandals That The Stars Of HGTV's Home Town Can Never Erase

HGTV power couple Erin and Ben Napier are most known for their rustic renovations, wholesome attitude, and southern charm. They got their start on the network back in 2017, with the Napiers leaving their day jobs to become the stars of the Mississippi-based show "Home Town." Though their positive qualities often shine through in all of their endeavors, that doesn't mean that the couple is immune to scandal.

Erin has opened up about her least favorite parts of her HGTV career, which include the immense amount of pressure and attention that comes with their success. "The more I learn about social media, the more it frightens me so I'm going to make an effort to spend less time here," the interior designer wrote on Instagram. "People weren't built to know the opinions of thousands or even hundreds of their 'friends.'"

With so many eyes trained on the family, through their HGTV shows to their social media presence, they've inevitably had their fair share of social missteps, both big and small. With that in mind, here are the scandals that the stars of "Home Town" can never erase.

Erin was criticized for her BLM response

During the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, the internet was calling on celebs to make statements of solidarity and support. This was also the case for the Napiers, who've been open about their love and admiration for the diverse Laurel, Mississippi location of their show "Home Town." However, when Erin Napier took to Instagram to share a photo from the children's show "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," which shows the titular Mr. Rogers soaking his feet alongside Officer Clemmons, her followers had a mixed reaction.

The image, featuring white and Black characters sharing a kiddie pool, was obviously intended to invoke a sense of fellowship, but some viewers felt it wasn't a strong enough stance in the face of political turmoil. A fan of the Napiers even reached out to the HGTV star to voice her disappointment. "As a huge fan of your and your show, a follower of Christ and a black [woman], I was hoping you'd take a bigger stand," she wrote in the now-shared DMs.

Napier took the moment to explain her perspective on making a social media stand. "I want you to know that my social media quiet is not a difference of opinion," she responded. "I think taking a 'bigger' stand lies in the small opportunities we meet everyday as we go to the post office or order food in a restaurant." The HGTV star eventually posted her in-depth conversation with the fan on social media, garnering another mixed response in the comments. While many fans praised her perspective, a notable few still felt that she could use her platform for good.

Ben was mentioned in a fraud scandal

Back in 2022, Ben Napier got wrapped up in a fraud scandal, being named in the court documents for a civil case against NFL star Brett Favre. The Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre along with other individuals and entities for allegedly misusing $77 million worth of state welfare funds. The retired quarterback was accused of funneling the money into personal endeavors, including a pharmaceutical startup and the construction of a volleyball stadium at his daughter's college.

Throughout the legal proceedings, text messages between Favre and the then-Mississippi governor Phil Bryant suggested the political figure's involvement in the scheme. On top of this, though, the personal messages also named HGTV's Ben Napier, with Mississippi Today reporting that the "Home Town" host was involved in locker construction for the aforementioned stadium project. After these accusations arose, with journalist Anna Wolfe compiling them in a social media thread, Erin Napier took to X, formerly Twitter, to deny her husband's involvement.

"Ben didn't build lockers for anyone," she wrote in a now-deleted post. "The governor texted asking him if he could recommend someone to build wooden lockers, and Ben offered a recommendation for a cabinet maker we work with. You should get total clarity on a fact like this before you tweet it" (per Heavy). Wolfe went on to clarify her representation of Ben's involvement, but the HGTV host's name will forever live on within the court documents.

Erin responded to COVID-19 attacks

Over the years, Erin Napier has made it clear that she has no time for mommy-shamers, but that hasn't slowed down the parenting-based criticism she receives on social media. During the pandemic, this censure turned into something of a mini-scandal when the HGTV host was forced to remove a photo of her and her oldest daughter Helen Napier from Instagram.

"After posting a photo of the back of my daughter's head [...] there were cruel comments within moments," she wrote in a follow-up post. "About a three year old child's hair. About COVID." Since the photo was quickly deleted, it's unclear what about it sparked COVID-19 concerns, but Reddit users believe the snapshot gave the impression that safety protocols weren't being followed. As for comments about the Napier kid's appearance, some Redditors recount criticisms about the short length of Helen's hair while others believe it was judged for being messily styled.

Either way, Napier criticized those who felt justified in their comments, emphasizing her desire to protect her children from social media and the ongoing efforts she and her family were making for safe, pandemic work. "As if from a tiny vignette you can see the whole picture of precaution and how we wear ourselves out keeping our family safe every day," the HGTV star wrote, sharing an on-set photo of her distanced and masked team. Despite the original naysayers, Napier's fans seemed to rally around her in support following this incident.