HGTV cancels 'Flip It Forward' after allegations stars David and Jason Benham are anti-gay extremists
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/08/2014
HGTV has announced it's not proceeding with a new reality show called Flip It Forward following reports claiming its stars, twin brothers David Benham and Jason Benham, are anti-gay ultra conservatives.
"HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers' series," the network tweeted on Wednesday.
Flip It Forward, which HGTV had announced in April and was slated to premiere in October, was supposed to feature real estate entrepreneurs David and Jason Benham leveraging their "good-natured sibling rivalry" to help transform underprivileged families' houses into their dream homes.
HGTV's cancellation announcement came shortly after online reports which claimed at least one of the brothers is an anti-gay and anti-choice extremist. The reports also documented some examples of David participating in such alleged controversial behavior as well as the twins' father Flip Benham.
According to the website Right Wing Watch, Flip's history includes condemning the interfaith Sandy Hook memorial and protesting in front of mosques by yelling "Jesus Hates Muslims." He also blamed the 2012 Aurora, CO shooting -- better known as the theater shooting during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises -- on the Democratic Party, implying the party promotes a "culture of death."
Flip reportedly also protested lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride events and has interrupted church services. Flip additionally blamed the September 11 terrorist attack on abortion rights.
As for David, he led a prayer rally outside of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC in 2012, preaching to stop "homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation" and "demonic ideologies [taking] our universities and our public school systems," the Right Wing Watch reported.
The house flipper reportedly wrote in the Christian Post in 2012 that marriage equality "erodes the moral fabric of our society" and "threaten[s] future generations."
David also allegedly worked to pass North Carolina's Amendment One, which put a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state constitution. He's led protests outside of abortion clinics -- calling them "the gates of hell" -- and was quoted saying Muslims are "the enemy attacking" America when he protested outside an Islamic center, according to the political website.
In light of the news HGTV has pulled the plug on Flip It Forward, both David and Jason released a joint statement early Thursday obtained by USA Today.
"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," the brothers said.
"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. We were saddened to hear HGTV's decision."
David and Jason continued, "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. If our faith costs us a television show then so be it."