UPDATED with Deadline interview: David Benham says he loves gays and has nothing against them but hates the gay “agenda” that “seeks to silence men and women of faith.” Appearing with his twin brother Jason on CNN‘s Erin Burnett UpFront the day after HGTV announced it would not move forward with a new show starring the twins called Flip It Forward, David said, “We shouldn’t be afraid of losing our livelihood.”
HGTV announced on its Facebook page Wednesday that it was scrapping plans for the upcoming series after a report emerged identifying one of its stars as an activist against gay marriage and abortion. After the CNN interview, David told Deadline he and his brother had been “really excited” about the reality series, thinking it would give them “that opportunity to show America that you can be Christian and not be so extreme on one side of an issue that you’re not loving toward people. I was excited about that opportunity,” he said.
But he has no hope the project might be resuscitated when the controversy dies down, in much the same way Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended for incendiary comments he made in a GQ interview but was allowed to return fairly quickly, after some media and fans pushed back. “With Duck Dynasty, they already had a following,” David told Deadline on Thursday. “With Jason and I, we didn’t even get out of the batter’s box. HGTV made a decision based on one tiny segment of our culture, and had they heard from the rest of the culture, I think it would have been different. At this point, it’s over.” After being informed by HGTV execs they were not moving forward with the show, he said, he originally thought they would continue filming to complete the original episode order, but this afternoon M2 Pictures contacted them, “saying they’re pulling everything – it’s all done.”