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