Erin and Ben Napier


Erin and Ben Napier


Heavy/WBD/Max

Erin and Ben Napier in their Scotsman woodworking workshop

Each week on HGTV, “Home Town” stars Erin and Ben Napier invite viewers into the latest outdated house they’ve agreed to lovingly transform for a local client in their home town of Laurel, Mississippi. In every reveal at the end of the show, the homeowners are thrilled with the renovations and decor. But viewers have grown increasingly vocal and vicious about what they don’t like about the homes, the Napiers said in an Instagram video on April 2, 2024.

“We need to talk about something,” Erin said sternly while filming herself in the passenger seat of a vehicle that Ben was driving. After explaining that they’re currently in Sebring, Florida, filming the third season of “Home Town: Takeover,” Erin said they felt it was important to address the “really ugly” comments viewers keep making on social media about their renovations.

In the caption of the video, she wrote, “As my mama would say, y’all act like you’ve got some raising. ”

The Napiers’ video ignited a outpouring of feedback and support, with thousands of fans commenting within hours of the posting.


Erin Napier Says Viewers’ ‘Rude’ Comments About Homes They Renovate Hurt the Homeowners’ Feelings

Though Erin has frequently shared how proud she is of the home renovations they’ve featured on season 7 of “Home Town,” she’s been stunned by how “rude” viewers have been about some of the design decisions made by her, Ben, and their clients.

“The comments on my Instagram have been really not nice,” Erin said, staring into the camera.

“Nasty,” Ben interjected from the driver’s seat.

“Really rude,” Erin continued. “Y’all realize we design these houses for people who really live in them. You’re not hurting my feelings at all. But you are being really ugly to the people who are living in these houses. And if you can’t think of something nice to say about these people’s homes, what do you say?”

“Don’t say anything at all,” Ben replied as Erin turned the camera toward him.

She then reiterated, “You are not going to hurt my feelings. But you are going to hurt someone’s feelings who lives in that house. You know better, guys. Do better, okay? Be sweet. Like I tell my little girls, y’all can be grownups and be sweet.”

Ben then said, “Okay, here’s the thing. I’m afraid that a lot of the people out there are being rude and being mean because they want to be hurtful. And that’s the saddest thing about it.”

“Oh, if you’re one of those people who are on social media,” Erin responded, “unfollow me now, thank you.”

“Or we can do that for you,” Ben quipped.

Before ending their video, Erin thanked those who have left kind comments, with Ben calling those people “awesome” and encouraging them to visit Laurel and Sebring to see the towns and the “great work” they’re doing.

This is not the first time Erin has addressed unkind comments she and Ben have received on social media, though she typically does so in sarcastic responses to the trolls. For instance, when someone complained that the “awning looks cheap” and that the Napiers shouldn’t have used such expensive appliances on their first-ever new home build, featured on the March 18 episode of “Home Town,” Erin hit back, “you can do it however you wish on your show, which is better in every way i bet.”


Erin & Ben Napier Receive Outpouring of Support on Post About People ‘Being Mean’

Erin and Ben Napier

Discovery+/HGTVErin and Ben Napier filming their Christmas movie for Discover+ in the summer of 2022

Within a few hours of Erin posting the video message from her and Ben, over 10,000 comments had rolled in, primarily from people grateful that the Napiers had spoken up.

One quipped, “Boy, you said that MUCH nicer than I would have! Leading by example ”

“I had my husband listen to ur video post,” one woman wrote in a response that received over a thousand likes. “He calls those people who post nasty comments, ‘keyboard cowards!’”

Another fan reflected, “Social media has really brought out the worst in people and their impulsive and unchecked thoughts. I can’t for the life of me understand why I would share something I don’t like about someone else’s home on a public forum directly visible to them. Just say nothing. That’s actually *easier* than going out of your way to type something. Appreciate your guys bold mission against our society’s obsession with social media and how it affects and changes us all.

Actress Faith Ford chimed in, writing, “Y’all keep up the awesome work! You have a supporter here!”

The Napiers’ relationship with social media has been rocky in recent months, not only due to negative comments. The couple co-founded a new nonprofit, Osprey, and a national movement to keep kids off of phones and social media until they graduate from high school, which they claim has led social media platforms like Instagram to censor or hide some of their content from followers.

“I feel like when our kids have more opportunity to be engaged in the real world and learning skills and finding their talents, that’s where self-assurance comes from,” Erin told People in February. “And the opposite of finding self-assurance is in social media. Everything that tears down our self-confidence and self-assurance lives there.”

The mom of two continued, “So that’s really what we want to focus on is helping our girls find their gifts in the real world, and when they’re older, much older, I think they’ll be mentally prepared for what social media is and the tool that it can be.”

Liv Lane is an entertainment writer who covers the Hallmark Channel, HGTV, American Idol and The Voice for Heavy. She has three decades of experience as a local and national radio host, columnist and publicist, interviewing and working with a wide range of celebrities over the years, from Deepak Chopra to Lil Nas X. Liv is also an accomplished watercolor artist whose intuitive art is sold across the U.S. and Canada. Liv attended the University of Minnesota and is based in Minneapolis. More about Liv Lane





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