David and Jason Benham are twin brothers and purported followers of Christ. They’ve run a successful real estate business for the past decade and were all set to captain their own show on HGTV that featured them helping families land houses they could otherwise not afford. But earlier this week, HGTV dropped their show, “Flip It Forward,” without much in the way of an explanation
So, what happened?
You could blame the lobbying group Right Wing Watch, which published a post on its website characterizing David as an “anti-gay, anti-choice extremist” because of comments he had made in the past, including those at a prayer rally held outside of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in North Carolina. Additionally, Right Wing Watch made public a recording of David speaking to talk-show host about “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation,” as CNN reports.
HGTV, potentially ruffled by the accusations, issued a tweet on May 7 stating their decision not to move forward with the Benhams’ show. David and Jason’s response? “If our faith costs us a television show,” they wrote in a statement released earlier this week, “then so be it.”
The twins also appeared on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” to emphasize their commitment to the Christian faith, which includes being raised by their father, the Rev. Philip “Flip” Benham, who heads Operation Save America, a North Carolina-based anti-abortion group. As David said, “We love all people. I love homosexuals. I love Islam, Muslims, and my brother and I would never discriminate. Never have we — never would we.”
The proposed program, “Flip It Forward,” would have seen the Benhams assist families in turning fixer-uppers — literally “flipping” them — into beautiful dream homes. The real estate market is notably cyclical, with winter always bringing down total sales numbers. The show was slated to ride the natural wave of good-weather sales into the spring and summer.
Philip Benham, the twins’ father, was sentenced to 18 months of probation in 2011 after being convicted of stalking an abortion doctor, the AP reports. A petition to reinstate the show called #FlipThisDecision has since sprung up from the Faith Driven Consumer organization, which also began a campaign in favor of “Duck Dynasty”‘s Phil Robertson.