We reported earlier today that HGTV had greenlighted Flip It Forward, a new real-estate reality show with twin realtors David and Jason Benham, who have a history of preaching anti-gay rhetoric.
But just minutes ago, the network did a quick about-face: HGTV posted on its Facebook wall that it “has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers’ series.”
The response to the post was mostly positive, with activist Scott Wooledge writing “Good decision not to stab every LGBT employee and viewer in the face.” Other commenters begged HGTV to return to home-repair programming in favor of its current trend in real-estate series.
There were, however, those against the decision to halt production on the show: “horrible decision HGTV…you had the opportunity to attract the largest demographic in America with a wholesome family show,” wrote Scott Jensen. “It’s sad you caved under the pressure of a few loud voices of intolerance.”
The network may have killed Flip it Foward out of concern for how it would sit with Ellen DeGeneres, who is producing a new HGTV furniture-design series, Ellen’s Design Challenge.
The Benhams have yet to make a statement about the controversy or their right-wing views. At a prayer rally in 2012, David Benham preached on the importance of fighting reproductive choice, homosexuality and other modern ills:
We don’t realize that, okay, if 87 percent of Americans are Christians and yet we have abortion on demand; we have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have a homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation; we have adultery; we have all of the things; we even have allowed demonic ideologies to take our universities and our public school systems while the church sits silent and just builds big churches.
Brother Jason apparently helped organize the rally.
David also campaigned for North Carolina’s Amendment One, which successfully placed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state:
You know, we just fought for Amendment One, which was a constitutional amendment that simply said, this is exactly what the amendment said is the only legal marriage in North Carolina was between a man and a woman. We received—it was such a battle in North Carolina, it blew me away.