HGTV Cancels Show After Anti-Gay, Anti-Abortion Controversy Involving Hosts David and Jason Benham
HGTV decided to flip the switch. The cable network announced Wednesday, May 7, that it has canceled upcoming reality show, Flip It Forward, after an extensive online report revealed the controversial views of its stars, twin brothers David and Jason Benham.
"HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers' series," the network tweeted. Their decision comes after a controversial, in-depth report on one of the hosts was published on Tuesday, May 6, by Right Wing Watch. The website detailed the anti-gay and anti-choice viewpoints of David, who along with his brother are the sons of right-wing activist Flip Benham. (As MSNBC points out, Flip is the director of Operation Save America, which arranges abortion clinic protests).
The report, titled "HGTV Picks Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Extremist For New Reality TV Show," revealed David protested outside of an abortion clinic last year. A year before that, the father of five protested outside of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. In a radio interview with conservative host Janet Mefferd, David said his DNC protest had a missive to stop "homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation."
The Benham brothers, both former pro-baseball players, have turned a hobby of flipping houses for profit into a thriving business in the last decade. On their new show, the siblings would help a family buy a home and "transform it into their forever home—with a healthy dose of sibling rivalry between the brothers along the way," HGTV said in April.
Disappointed, the Benham brothers issued a statement Thursday, May 8, and said they were "saddened" by the network's decision to cancel Flip It Forward. "With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television today you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals," read the statement, via USA Today. "If our faith costs us a television show, then so be it."
The brothers added: "The first and last thought on our minds as we begin and end each day is: have we shined Christ's light today? Our faith is the fundamental calling in our lives, and the centerpiece of who we are. As Christians we are called to love our fellow man. Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying. Over the last decade, we've sold thousands of homes with the guiding principle of producing value and breathing life into each family that has crossed our path, and we do not, nor will we ever discriminate against people who do not share our views."