The Home & Garden Television (aka HGTV) network announced Wednesday it has decided to pull the plug on an upcoming real estate reality show amid a firestorm of controversy from gay rights activists who accused the evangelical Christian hosts of being anti-gay and pro-life.
Twins David and Jason Benham had been in production for “Flip it Forward,” a show that was expected to debut in October on the nation’s seventh most-watched cable channel. According to Entertainment Weekly, the North Carolina brothers “would have followed families creating their dream homes from fixer-uppers.”
After the network announced the show was on the fall lineup, the militant lobbying group Right Wing Watch labeled David Benham, son of well-known evangelical pastor Flip Benham an “anti-gay extremist” and reported on comments he made about homosexuality, abortion and divorce.
So now, these militant groups are going to start judging us based on the past behavior of our parents?
I reached out the Benham brothers Wednesday. “If our faith costs us a television show then so be it,” they wrote in a statement to me.
The Benhams, who are graduates of Liberty University, said they were saddened to hear about HGTV’s decision.
“With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television, you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals,” they wrote.
I’d be willing to bet that’s what the Robertson family, of A&E’s Duck Dynasty fame, thought, too.
HGTV refuses to say why they decided not to go forward with the show. At 12pm ET they said this on Twitter: “HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers' series.” But their decision was announced after Right Wing Watch published a scathing attack on the brothers.
They reported that David Benham led a prayer rally outside the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012. They also took issue with comments he made to Christian radio host Janet Mefferd about the rally.