Chairman, President & CEO
Scripps Networks Interactive
500 W Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902
December 6, 2016
Dear Mr. Lowe,
I write to you on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of members of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the largest public policy organization for women in the country. CWA has 400 adult chapters and 34 (Young Women for America) college chapters around the nation. The women we represent are activist women of faith, many of whom enjoy and support HGTV’s programing. And judging by their reaction to the recent Buzzfeed anti-religious hit piece, many particularly enjoy Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines.
I would like to take this opportunity to urge you to resist any outside pressure to target the Gaines or any other HGTV star or employee because of their religious affiliation. In fact, we urge you to publicly condemn Buzzfeed for their bigotry and stand firmly by your stars. To target anyone because of their religious views or affiliation is a gross violation of our fundamental Constitutional rights guaranteed by the First Amendment — something with which CWA is particularly concerned.
We are committed to the protection of religious liberty, especially for women like Joanna Gaines, to the point that, should HGTV choose to suspend or penalize the Gaines in any way because of the church they attend and/or their sincerely held beliefs, CWA would be prepared to offer free legal counsel to inform them of their rights, as well as notify our considerable grassroots membership.
We are especially sensitive and eager to see HGTV’s response to this matter, given what we know about the network’s unfortunate treatment of the Benham Brothers regarding this same issue. I respectfully urge you to take the high road and stand for religious freedom and real diversity in employment and programming at HGTV.
CEO and President
Concerned Women for America
cc. Kathleen Finch,
Chief Programming, Content & Brand Officer