We Heart: HGTV for Cancelling New Show Over Hosts’ Anti-Gay Views

Hgtv-2010Home improvement cable network HGTV backed out of airing an upcoming reality TV series on house-flipping after it came to light that the stars of the series were anti-gay, anti-abortion activists.

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham, noted real estate developers who have made a name for themselves in fixing up dilapidated homes and selling them for a profit, are also the sons of Operation Save America director, Flip Benham. OSA is a widely known anti-abortion extremist group that also opposes same-sex marriage. The group most recently made major headlines in late 2012 after the Sandy Hook school shooting when Flip blamed the tragedy on the removal of God from public schools.

Flip’s sons have openly espoused their father’s views, becoming prominent figures on the right. They have campaigned for a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in North Carolina and written columns calling Muslims enemies of America. Up until this Wednesday, HGTV had planned to premiere the series, titled Flip It Forward, in October. However, after Right Wing Watch, a watchdog group that monitors the activities of the right wing movement, exposed the duo’s connection to OSA, HGTV swiftly axed the show to the ire of conservative Christian groups, stating in a tweet that they had “decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers’ series.”

Faith Driven Consumer, the same group that created the #IStandWithPhil social media campaign after Phil Robertson was suspended from Duck Dynasty for his anti-gay views, has launched a similar campaign for the Benham brothers with the hashtag #FlipThisDecision. The Christian consumer advocacy group hopes to pressure the network to air the show.

We applaud HGTV for standing behind the LGBT community, and hope the network will remain firm in their decision to withhold the reality show. Tweet to the network with the handle @hgtv and encourage them to stand strong against intolerance by keeping the Benham brothers off the air!

 

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Anita Little is the associate editor at Ms. magazine. Follow her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Yea for HGTV! I love that station and now even more! Thanks so much for standing beside your LBGT brothers and sisters and all of us who stand with them! And thank you for standing for the rights of women and their freedom to choose! Blessed be!

  2. “….and encourage them to stand strong against intolerance by keeping the Benham brothers off the air! ”

    POT meet Kettle. We all can only get along if we 100% agree with everything you say & want. Sad so sad

  3. Patrick says:

    I think this will backfire just like the Duck Dynasty and Chick Fil A move backfired. It feeds too perfectly into the narrative that gay bullies and their media allies are oppressing decent Christian Americans from expressing their faith. The time to do something about this was when HGTV were first approached with the idea of working with the sons. Someone should have done a search, saw that there dad was a certified extremist, and politely declined. Now they are throwing fuel into the fire and giving far more press to this fringe group than they possibly deserve.

    I don’t know that calling for boycotts and bans is a good look for the left. Often it makes us look as intolerant as the people we are upset at, and it tends to give our targets of frustration a whole lot of free press.

  4. Tracie says:

    I thought we lived in America where people were allowed to have different views. What would have happened if HGTV denied an openly gay host because they didn’t agree with them? The world would be on fire!!! HGTV wouldn’t be around anymore! That doesn’t go both ways? Were they hateful? Were they saying hate filled things about gay people or just that they just had a different view of marriage? Were they being hateful and horrible about abortion or just that they were pro-life? But because we are living in a country where slowly but surely we are expected to be homogenized and all think the same way and no one can think differently or you’re in the same conversation as a Nazi no one blinks an eye and the channel is harrowed as honorable…just because some one doesn’t agree with a choice doesn’t mean they are anti anything. I don’t like peas but I don’t hate people who do…it’s ok to think differently and still be a good person! Or is that only for the left when they disagree. Naturally, because when they disagree it’s because the other people are wrong! How unfortunate for our country. Not a high point.

  5. I consider myself a Christian who happens to
    believe my God loves all. I love all caring people…whether they approve of my life style
    Or not. We can agree to disagree on many important issues. Plz do not judge me..my God will take care of that! Proudly married to my wife of 20 years. Just as our son proud of his two Mom’s. I prefer to not watch any hate mongers movies or TV. I can change the channel . I watch HGTV every often. Will continue to do so. They do have the right to make their” business choices” either way…whether I agree, approve, or not. Just clip the channel hatemongers walk among us all on many topics/ issues. I believe in madam karma too! Be blessed…

  6. I guess it could backfire and yes there are censorship worries. At the same time, it still seems positive that such a mainstream network as this would take that stand. Sounds like overall we are evolving.

  7. Huck Finn says:

    I don’t think the Duck Dynasty and Chick Fil A protests so much as backfired as they simply lost momentum. The American electorate’s sense of outrage at a particular affront lasts about as long as its attention span, maybe three seconds. Identifying and targeting bigotry will therefore produce only short-term results, which means the Benham brothers will eventually succeed in getting their show produces elsewhere. That doesn’t mean we stop objecting to offensive speech and behavior; it simply means that we stop expecting radical results when we do. Remember: only about 2/3 of Americans know the Earth orbits the Sun.

    • Patrick says:

      I’d say they backfired. There was a pretty huge outpouring of support for both Chik Fil A and Duck Dynasty, and both incidents gave fodder to the right to unite against the supposed oppression of Christian Values. The fact that most liberals didn’t eat at Chick Fil A or watch Duck Dynasty anyways didn’t help. Similarly, the boycott against Girl Scout cookies by a pro-life group in Waco this past spring mostly served to get people like me to buy the cookies when I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

  8. Waay cool! Some very vaalid points! I appreciate you writing this article andd thee rest of the website is very good.

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