CONCORD, N.C. -- The Benham Brothers from North Carolina, had been on their way to reality-show stardom.
Their new show however was cancelled Thursday, even before the airing of the first episode.
The network pulled the show amid controversy surrounding the personal beliefs of David and Jason Benham.
"They just said we can no longer move on,” said Jason Benham.
The two had just wrapped up taping a segment for the show, when they got a text message requesting a meeting with HGTV executives.
The identical twin brothers had already built a successful real estate group before signing to host the show with the network.
In the course of ten years, the brothers expanded their Concord-based company to 100 locations in 35 states.
Two years ago, HGTV signed the pair, to host, “Flip-it-Forward.”
The premise of the show was for the brothers to use their expertise, and help families turn a fixer-upper, into a home of their dreams.
Last week, a post on the website, “Right-Wing Watch” condemned the network for, choosing, “anti-gay, anti-choice extremists" for the show.
In a prepared statement Thursday, they expressed their sadness for the network’s decision, reaffirming that their faith “is the fundamental calling in our lives.” They went on to say “As Christians we are called to love our fellow man. Anyone who suggest that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying.”
David Benham is active is expressing his views. He is seen on news footage protesting in front of the Democratic National Convention, and out in front of Charlotte abortion clinics.
The Right Wing Watch web posts also highlighted the expressed views of their father, Flip Benham, who heads the “anti-choice group,” "Operation Rescue."
"We don’t have to agree with our dad to love him. Jason and I have gone around with our dad many times on things we don’t agree with, and he says things that have been pinned on us. But we are 38-year-old men, are married, and have 9 children, we have multiple companies. We can speak for ourselves and stand on our own two feet.”
The comment I made about the homosexual agenda, that I was not speaking about individuals, but was speaking about a agenda. I mean it’s the environment that exist in America that men and women of faith cannot voice their beliefs without fear of loosing their livlihood. That’s exactly what happen with Jason and I,” said David Benham.
Benham says their views were never made secret, saying the network accepted their fundamental Christian ways before signing the pair 18 months ago. They believe the networked was planning to weather the storm amid the social media backlash, but eventually, they said the network was “bullied,” into cancelling the show.
“We are not looking to save our show, but a ground swell of support would be a great thing to see, because we live in America. HGTV made their decision based on one segment of population speaking very loudly,” said David Benham.
“So we don’t regret our decision and if they were to have us back, we would do it, but at this point, HGTV made a business decision and we respect that, we appreciate them.”
The HGTV contract was to shoot a six-episode show. The show was in mid-production and was slated to air starting October 18th. Benhams plan to still work with the families, and finish the projects, with or without the cameras.