14 Times HGTV Stars Clapped Back At Online Hate

HGTV is filled with some heartwarming TV personalities, including real-life couples like "Fixer to Fabulous" stars Dave and Jenny Marrs or the sweet bond between "Farmhouse Fixer" friends Jonathan Knight and Kristina Crestin. Even on competition shows like "Rock the Block," the network's stars cheer each other on and form strong connections. "The best part of [doing the show] is the friendship that I have now with each girl," Alison Victoria informed People. "We're on a group text. We talk to each other all the time."

Unfortunately, as other "Rock the Block" participants know, online contempt is often present as the show airs. As a public service announcement, Jenny Marrs from "Fixer to Fabulous" created an Instagram story featuring an encouraging message she'd previously shared with HGTV stars Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis. "I have to check in with my friends because I KNOW how harsh the world is when our shows air," Marrs explained to her followers (via Heavy).

Sadly, this angry online commentary extends well beyond "Rock the Block." Luckily, given their penchant for camaraderie, it's no surprise that these HGTV hosts haven't hesitated to speak out against negative behaviors. Here are some examples of times these stars made an effort towards building a more positive cyber community.

Heather El Moussa stood up for herself and her family

Heather Rae El Moussa and her husband, Tarek El Moussa, are well-known for their shows "The Flipping El Moussas" and "Flipping 101." In May 2024, Heather took a visually creative approach to calling out online bullies. She started with a peaceful video clip of her holding her son Tristan while she cooked. Abruptly, the mother-son-duo is covered with screenshots of negative comments from viewers denigrating her voice, hair, and general appearance. "Social media can be a double-edged sword," Heather captioned the Instagram post. "Your perspective and how you engage with it is so important." She then expanded her focus, adding that she empathized with everyone who was in a similar situation online. Her strategy was successful, and fans were quick to offer supportive, positive comments in response.

Heather's also a step-mom to Tarek's two children from his previous marriage to HGTV star Christina Hall. Since Tristan's birth, she's often received online accusations that she posts more pictures of her son than her step-kids. Some people were particularly incensed when Heather appeared to exclude her stepdaughter when wishing her son, stepson, and her husband a Happy Valentine's Day 2024. The following day, Heather responded by posting a picture of her and her stepdaughter, Taylor, embracing and smiling. "We close our ears to the pettiness," the text on her Instagram story explained (via Us Weekly). "My girl knows she's my #1 gal."

Erin Napier routinely calls out online scorn

Erin Napier is experienced at speaking out against online vitriol. In July 2017, the "Home Town" star responded to a viewer who was angry about the way Erin's husband, Ben Napier, interacted with her on camera. "It reminds her of men who treat women like objects, which made me hurt for her," Erin posted on Instagram. On the contrary, these couple moments were Ben's way of helping Erin deal with on-camera anxiety. "Every time he touches my arm, my back, it's letting me know I'm not alone," she explained. In 2018, Erin went further, asking readers to thoughtfully confront online bullies in person. "Even if it's uncomfortable, our corners of the world might improve," she wrote.

However, since Erin has 1.5 million followers on Instagram, directly engaging with individuals is not always feasible. In that case, her strategy is encouraging these online aggressors to go away. After individuals posted hateful remarks about their daughter's hair and their lifestyle choices during the COVID-19 pandemic, Erin stated unequivocally, "Those comments and the people who make them are not welcome here."

In April 2024, Ben joined his wife in speaking out against mean-spirited comments on behalf of their TV clients. While the Napiers don't always agree with their customers, they respect their creative decisions. "These people paid a lot of money for this house, and they wanted this, and they told you that on camera," Ben explained to Mississippi Today.

Page Turner and Ty Pennington relied on education and humor to defuse trolling

In March 2023, Page Turner posted a short video on X, formerly Twitter, to educate trolls and fans alike. Turner's goal was to dispel some drama regarding "Rock the Block." At the time, Turner was receiving backlash regarding her bookshelf styling in one of the weekly competitions. Due to copyright concerns, Turner needed to have the spines of her books concealed because she didn't have the time to get permission to display hundreds of titles. "There was no way that Mitch and I were going to stay up with only seven days ... to wrap over 500 books," Turner explained. "So we turned them around." Happily, negative blowback aside, Turner and her "Fix My Flip" partner, Mitch Glew, won the weekly competition for their living room design.

"Rock the Block" host Ty Pennington has also done his part to reduce online scorn. Taking a comedic approach, Pennington posted a conversation with Property Brother Jonathan Scott where he jokingly encouraged his friend not to read online commentary. On a second slide of the Instagram post, Pennington shared his response to a fan who presumed that he expunged angry comments from viewers. "Unless someone says something offensive, people are allowed to comment," Pennington clarified on Instagram. However, he cautioned people to think before they typed. To put the situation in perspective, Pennington added, "It's just a TV show ... try to be kind."

Jonathan Scott sets a good example for positive behavior

Jests from Ty Pennington aside, Jonathan Scott has had ample experience dealing with online anger. In 2017, after Scott posted a message promoting the Women's March on Washington, he crafted a follow-up video addressing the negative responses he received. "There's a big difference between having a different opinion and always trying to pick a fight," Scott shared on Facebook. "When you choose to look at the world from a place of hostility, well, it's unlikely you're going to see even the smallest amount of good."

A year later, Scott posted a video message on X responding to backlash from earlier social media posts in which he expounded his views on diverse topics, including free speech and environmental protection. Describing his feelings towards online hate, Scott observed, "It gives me that pit in the bottom of my stomach." The "Property Brothers" star encouraged individuals to take a more positive approach and help him create a welcoming space for everyone who visited his social media accounts.

Besides calling out bad behavior, Scott also does his part by leading by example and promoting positivity. The HGTV star features frequent inspirational statements on his Instagram, using the hashtag #MondayMotivation. "Don't succumb to the mob mentality that perpetuates hate," Scott advised alongside a quote touting the importance of being receptive to people and ideas.

Egypt Sherrod and Christina Hall use different strategies to deal with uncomfortable comments

In 2022, Egypt Sherrod from "Married to Real Estate" posted a response to a fan who thought she'd had plastic surgery. Sherrod refuted this idea, explaining the changes to her body were a result of her second pregnancy. However, she also noted that it would be nobody else's business if she opted for a procedure in the future. "I have absolutely NO SHAME about my body. Body shaming is something we should never do," she said on Instagram. After her comments gained media coverage, Sherrod posted a follow-up. "Through courage and transparency, we can encourage others and shame the shamers!" she enthused.

While Sherrod wants to engage bullies head-on, Christina Hall prefers a more passive approach. "I think the older I get, the less I care," Hall explained to People. Beyond receiving mean comments online, Hall's dealt with her own share of tragedy, including working on "Flip or Flop" with her ex-husband, Tarek El Moussa, as they went through a difficult divorce. Although she feels more resilient towards online ire, Hall acknowledges that it still stings. Previously, she used the strategy of disabling the comments to prevent nasty remarks about her family. In addition, Hall has taken a philosophical approach. "When people spew hatred at me ... those people are always the ones who have the most self-hatred and the ones who truly need healing and self-love," she revealed on Instagram.