Home Town star Erin Napier deleted a photo of her 3-year-old daughter, Helen, on Instagram after receiving negative and "cruel" comments about her. Napier and her husband, co-star Ben Napier, never show Helen's face, but Napier's recent post still drew comments from trolls about Helen's hair. People also started commenting about how the family is living during the coronavirus pandemic. Napier pointed out that people only see a small part of their lives on social media.
On Thursday, Napier shared a photo of the HGTV crew. "Your quarterly PSA about how to be a decent person on social media: Here's a photo of some of our team, and my view for most of my days at work," she wrote in the caption. "Because Ben and I have this job, it means we open ourselves up to the public in ways that are sometimes vulnerable and I think there's value in that. I think there is a fine line between privacy and helping others by being vulnerable about some aspects of your life when you're in the spotlight."
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Napier said there were "cruel comments" piling up in the comments section "within moments" of the post being published. There were negative comments about Helen's hair and others accusing the family of not taking the coronavirus seriously "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 endless testing while trying not to sacrifice every last shred of normalcy when it's as safe as it can possibly be," she wrote.
So, Napier took down the photo "to be a good steward of my baby's image and protector of my heart," she wrote. The reality TV star went onto say the negative comments and the people who made them are "not welcome here. Full stop." In the end, Napier wrote, "If you feel you may be a person capable of communicating this way, please see yourself away from my account or I'll be glad to help you do that."
It's not clear what the photo in question showed. The most recent post with photos of Helen remaining on Napier's Instagram page is from Nov. 26, when she shared pictures of Helen helping her and Ben decorate their Christmas tree. Helen's face was not shown in any of the pictures.
Napier has had a difficult relationship with social media. In July, she told fans she planned to turn off the comments from all Instagram posts because of the hurtful comments she saw, notes PEOPLE. She later began allowing limited commenting on her posts but did shut off the comments for the latest message to fans.
In September, Napier said she planned on taking a break from social media. "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," she wrote at the time. "People weren't built to know the opinions of thousands or even hundreds of their "friends." The real world is a much nicer place, honestly."
Napier and Ben host Home Town, which will start its fifth season on Sunday, Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. ET on HGTV. The series follows the couple as they help others in Laurel, Mississippi renovate their homes. A new spinoff, Home Town: Ben's Workshop, will also debut on the discovery+ streaming service on Jan. 4.