Benham brothers respond after HGTV drops show over anti-gay controversy

By: CBS
By: CBS

CBS - Two brothers ousted 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, anti-choice extremist" and reported on statements he made against homosexuality and gay marriage.

When HGTV announced the series last month, it said "Flip It Forward" would follow the Benhams as they helped deserving families transform fixer-uppers into their dream homes -- with a dose of sibling rivalry from the brothers along the way.

On Tuesday, the network said it was "in the process of reviewing all information about the Benhams." A day later, it announced via Twitter and Facebook that it would not be moving forward with the series.

HGTV spokeswoman Audrey Adlam refused to say why the show was canceled.

In a statement, the Benhams said they were "saddened" by HGTV's decision.

"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. 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," they said. "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."

The brothers added, "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."

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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