Tags: david | jason | benham | hgtv | gay | cancel

House-Flipping Twins: If Our Faith Costs Us TV Fame, 'So be It'

Thursday, 08 May 2014 07:42 PM

Reality show twins David and Jason Benham, whose HGTV fixer-upper show "Flip it Forward" got the ax after reports surfaced of their anti-gay views, called the decision disappointing, but said if their Christian faith cost them a shot at fame, "so be it."

"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," the brothers said in a statement Thursday, The Wrap reported.

"If our faith costs us a television show then so be it."

The siblings’ show came under fire after Right Wing Watch slammed David Benham as an "anti-gay, anti-choice extremist" for leading a 2012 prayer rally outside of the Democratic National Convention — and for telling a talk show host about "homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation" and "demonic ideologies" taking hold in colleges and public schools.

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HGTV had announced "Flip it Forward" last month, saying the twins would focus on a different deserving family each week and transform their fixer-upper into a dream home, The Wrap reported.

On Wednesday, the network curtly announced an end to the project.

In an interview with CNN Thursday night, the Benhams said network executives saw footage of the prayer service in 2012 and "“made a judgment call" to go ahead with the reality show project.

"When they saw the footage, they spoke with us," Jason Benham said on "Erin Burnett: Out Front." "They made a judgment call and recognized we had no hate."

He added network honchos "never said" their Christian views cost them their jobs. "They only said we need to part ways," Jason said.

But the Benhams insist they’re not angry about HGTV’s decision to pull the plug on their planned show.

“Our hearts break for HGTV,” Jason told Burnett. “We had such a great relationship… HG was pushed into this.”

Added David, "We felt that HG knew who we were… They were willing to take a chance on us.

"When all this happened, it was too much for them to bear and they had to make a business decision.”

The Benhams said they don’t hate anyone.

"As Christians we are called to love our fellow man," their statement said. "Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying," they said in their statement.

"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."

Speaking to Burnett, David Benham also insisted he and his brother are not anti-gay.

"Never have I ever spoken against homosexuals as individuals," he said. 

"I speak about an agenda," he said. "We love homosexuals and we love Muslims. We have nothing against the people. There's a difference between people and an agenda. … The real issue at hand [is]… there is an agenda to silence men and women of faith. We shouldn’t be afraid of losing our livelihood."

David Benham also tweeted that despite the show's cancellation, he and his brother would keep their promise to six families selected to participate in the show.

The cancellation also kicked into gear a grass-roots movement to restore the brothers to the HGTV fall schedule — engineered by the group behind the IStandWithPhil.com movement, which played a key role in the return of embattled Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson on the popular A&E show.

In a statement from Faith Driven Consumer founder Chris Stone, the group said it's launching #FlipThisDecision to help get the show back on track.

"This project has come to a screeching halt simply because the Benham brothers hold a biblical view of life and marriage," Stone said. "This is pure intolerance, discrimination, and bullying toward those who hold to widely held and legitimate views. HGTV's rash actions hold no place in America’s rainbow of diversity.

"Whether people agree or disagree with the Benhams' faith-driven perspective is beside the point; the Benhams have a right to have those views and to be treated equally with those who hold to other viewpoints."

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