TORONTO — The HGTV network has pulled the plug on a new real estate series, Flip It Forward, due to co-host David Benham’s anti-gay comments.
The show was scheduled to debut on the U.S. cable channel in October but in a message on its Facebook page Wednesday, HGTV said simply: “HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers’ series.”
Flip It Forward followed David Benham and his twin brother Jason Benham as they “leverage their good-natured sibling rivalry to help families find a fixer-upper and transform it into the dream home they never thought they could afford.”
The men are the sons of controversial evangelical minister Flip Benham, an outspoken opponent of abortion and equality for gays.
David has been vocal in condemning homosexuality. At a 2012 prayer rally, he said: “We have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation; we have adultery … while the church sits silent and just builds big churches.”
He also called equal marriage “evil” and urged “aggressive Christian men” to “lead the charge against it.”
On the HGTV Facebook page, at least one viewer said ditching the show over David’s views was unfair.
“I thought that this was America where people have the right to their personal beliefs! It doesn’t matter whether we agree with the Benham Brothers,” wrote Christie Harris Johnston. “They have the right to their personal opinions and personal faith without being dropped! By doing this, HGTV is showing just as much discrimination as if they fired the Benham Brothers for being gay! Don’t people see what is happening? It’s insane!”
But most supported the decision.
“I think good people need to stand up and speak out against the hateful words people speak,” commented Wendy Ormsby.
Scott Wooledge wrote: “Good decision not to stab every LGBT employee and viewer in the face.”
© Shaw Media, 2014