A storm of controversy erupted earlier this week when HGTV announced the network had greenlit Flip It Forward, a new home makeover reality show starring twin brothers David and Jason Benham, who were revealed to be right-wing antigay, anti-Muslim, and antichoice extremists. The backlash prompted HGTV to announce that the network had decided “not to move forward” with the brothers’ show on Wednesday.
But in the aftermath of the show's cancellation, the brothers released a statement in which they deny their bigoted views towards Muslims and the LGBT population, USA Today reports. “Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying,” they said.
“We were saddened to hear HGTV's decision," the pair added. "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.”
Though the statement released attempts to paint their hatred in a different light, David Benham is an active antichoice, anti-Muslim, and antigay activist. As a spokesman for Operation Save America — an extremist right-wing organization founded by his father, Flip Benham — he regularly leads protests outside of abortion clinics, condemning those who use the facilities to hell. He has also referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking” America.
Benham’s antigay activism has been no less extreme. He protested at a number of gay pride celebrations over the years, warned that marriage equality will “erode the moral fabric of society” while citing the biblical death penalty for homosexuality, and compared fighting against marriage rights for same-sex couples with the fight against Nazi Germany.
In a 2012 interview with conservative radio host Janet Mefferd, Benham said “homosexuality and its agenda” are “attacking the nation” and warned that “demonic ideologies [are] tak[ing] our universities and our public school systems.”