Fans of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” were disappointed to learn recently that Tarek and Christina El Moussa have decided to end their marriage of seven years. You’d never know it from watching HGTV these days because the network is heavily promoting the couple’s upcoming holiday episodes and pushing the narrative that everything is just fine with Tarek and Christina.
In promos (aired almost constantly) the couple is seen decorating the family’s Christmas tree and snuggled on the couch with their kids talking about how special the holidays are for their family.
“It’s all about family and just spending time with the kids,” a smiling Christina tells us.
“Just taking some time to enjoy each other and be together,” says Tarek.
We also learn about their favorite holiday movies—”Home Alone” for him, “Elf” for her (shocker, they don’t agree!).
— HGTV (@hgtv) December 8, 2016
Now we know it’s all fake, fake, FAKE!
News of the couple’s split came six months after Tarek was seen running outside the family’s home with a handgun. He dropped the firearm after he was spotted by a police helicopter that had been called to the scene. The couple said in a joint statement this week, “Like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage.” They called the episode an “unfortunate misunderstanding” and said police were called to their house “in an abundance of caution.” They insisted “there was no violence and no charges were filed.”
The couple thanked fans for their support in a Facebook post this week and said they will continue to work together as they have since their 20s.
E! News reported on Monday that, according to a source close to the show, “Flip or Flop” will end in 2017 after the couple’s contractual obligations are fulfilled.
So why the big push at HGTV to pretend nothing has changed with Tarek and Christina? My guess is that they’re betting a good number of HGTV viewers who enjoy the show don’t pay any attention to celebrity gossip. They don’t know—and probably don’t care—about the divorce plans. The network figures those viewers—whom they need to prop up holiday ratings—will offset any who are annoyed by the ongoing ruse about marital bliss.
Still, this can’t go on forever. Eventually, fans are going to figure out that there are cracks in the foundation of the El Moussa’s marriage. The couple is reportedly paid $100,000 per episode and makes a hefty profit on some of their real estate investment properties. Unfortunately, marriages involving high-profile individuals who have a lot of money between them rarely “go gentle into the good night” when they break up. Let’s hope they can defy the odds—and as they continue to work together over the next year and care for their two young children they can find a way to pull their marriage together.
In the meantime, HGTV ought to come clean with viewers and quit pushing this phony “happy family around the Christmas tree” story. It makes us all wonder what else they’re hiding and who else in their lineup is faking it for the cameras.