AP Television Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Two brothers shown the door by HGTV before their upcoming real estate show made it on the air say that if their Christian faith cost them a shot at TV fame, “then so be it.”
David and Jason Benham said Thursday they were disappointed that HGTV pulled the plug on “Flip it Forward,” due to debut in October. After the network announced the show was upcoming, the lobbying group Right Wing Watch labeled David Benham an “anti-gay extremist” and reported on statements he made against homosexuality and gay marriage.
HGTV spokeswoman Audrey Adlam refused to say why the show was canceled.
The Benhams, based in Concord, North Carolina, had planned to use their experience buying cheap homes and renovating them in their new show.
“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,” they said in a statement. “If our faith costs us a television show, then so be it.”
They said that “anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying.”
Right Wing Watch said David Benham led a prayer rally in 2012 to “stop homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.” The group said Benham publicly supported passage of a North Carolina constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
The Benhams’ spokesman, Sylvester Smith, did not immediately return calls for comment about the lobbying group’s report.
The twins’ father is the Rev. Philip “Flip” Benham, an evangelical pastor who heads Operation Save America, a North Carolina-based anti-abortion group. The father was sentenced to 18 months of probation in 2011 after being convicted of stalking a Charlotte, North Carolina, abortion doctor; he had passed out hundreds of “wanted” posters with the physician’s name and photo on it.
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