CONCORD, N.C. — The popular Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) axed an upcoming house-flipping reality show on Wednesday following the release of an article from a liberal organization that decried one of the hosts for his outspoken Christian beliefs and activism.
David and Jason Benham, twin brothers from North Carolina, were set to air their benevolent remodeling show Flip It Forward this fall on the network. The Benhams, both former major league baseball players turned business entrepreneurs, focused their broadcast on making dreams come true for those who thought they could never afford a home.
“After a decade of flipping houses for profit, brothers David Benham and Jason Benham now help families buy the homes they never thought they could afford,” a synopsis of the broadcast read, as published last month by HGTV. “In each episode, the guys help a deserving family find a fixer-upper and transform it into their forever home—with a healthy dose of sibling rivalry between the brothers along the way.”
But on Tuesday, Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, released an article decrying David Benham as an “anti-gay, anti-choice extremist.” It noted that the Benham brothers are the sons of Flip Benham, the director of the pro-life group Operation Save America, and that David led the Charlotte 7:14 prayer rally in 2012 outside of the Democratic National Convention.
“The reason we want to gather the night before the Democratic National Convention is because this event provides an incredible platform for our nation to see God’s church united in prayer for our country,” Benham explained prior to the event. “If Republicans or any other event with such global significance were happening in our city, our call to action would remain. The DNC is not a target; rather, it’s a platform. And upon this platform, the church of Charlotte gathers in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14 asking God to heal our land.”
Benham, who is the founder of Cities4Life with his wife Lori, was also denounced by Right Wing Watch for being involved in sidewalk ministry outside of area abortion facilities. The organization likewise quoted from Benham surrounding his beliefs in biblical marriage and his support of North Carolina’s constitutional marriage amendment.
When HGTV became aware of the article, it Tweeted that it was “currently in the process of reviewing all information about the Benhams and [would] provide an update as soon as possible.” On Wednesday, it released an announcement that simply read, “HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham brothers’ series.”
David and Jason Benham also published a statement of their own on Wednesday, expressing disappointment in HGTV’s decision, while unashamedly reinforcing their Christian faith.
“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,” the Benham brothers wrote. “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,” they continued. “We were saddened to hear HGTV’s decision. 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,” the Benham’s said.
The Benhams are continuing to film Flip it Forward despite the decision with the hopes that another network might pick up on the series.
Editor’s Note: Those who wish to express support for David and Jason Benham may click here to sign the “Flip This Decision” petition launched by the group Faith Driven Consumer.