Twin brothers and devout Christians Jason and David Benham do not appear to have hard feelings against HGTV for pulling the plug on their new real estate reality show, following a report that said the latter sibling made comments against gay people, which he has denied.
The 38-year-old identical twins spoke to CNN on-camera on Thursday about the issue. David said the two felt the cable channel was "bullied" into cancelling their show, "Flip it Forward," which was halfway through production and was scheduled to premiere in October.
"When all of this media firestorm happened around some of my comments, it was too much for them to bear and they had to make a business decision," he said. "But we absolutely respect HGTV and we really love those folks."
The cable network announced its decision to not "move forward" with "Flip It Forward," on Wednesday on Twitter, without citing a reason. The announcement was made less than a day after the watchdog group Right Wing Watch published a blog post titled "HGTV Picks Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Extremist For New Reality TV Show."
The report stated that David had in 2012 led a prayer rally outside of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina and said on a conservative radio show that the protest was needed to stop "homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation." The posting included audio samples and also cited comments David allegedly made against Muslims.
"Never have I ever spoken against homosexuals as individuals and gone against them," David told CNN. "I speak about an agenda and that's really the point of this -- is that there is an agenda that is seeking to silence the voices of men and women of faith and that's what all this is about."
"I believe that any sex outside of marriage, no matter what kind of sex it is, is just not healthy for human flourishing and ... before God," he added. "I think it's just a very important thing that we just set the record straight -- I'm grateful for the opportunity to say directly to the camera, that we love homosexuals and we love Muslims and we have absolutely nothing against the people but we will not stand and just ... there's a difference between the people and an agenda."
"We don't need a TV show ..."
The twins, whose whose father is Rev. Philip "Flip" Benham, an evangelical pastor who heads the anti-abortion group Operation Save America, also talked about the controversy in a video titled "Chillin' with the Benham Brothers" that was posted on their website on Thursday.
"Well if you've been anywhere close to social media lately, you know kinda what's going on with my twin sister and I," Jason says, pointing at David, who is standing beside him. "I have been cashing checks that his mouth has written my entire life. But you know what? We actually do believe the same things."
David said the two would continue to teach families how to flip houses, "with or without cameras."
"Jason and I are content," he said. "We're content, number one, that we're Christians. We're content that we are husbands, we are fathers. We're content with our community. We're content to serve the Lord whether we're pushing a broom or swinging a bat. We don't need a TV show, although we would love one. But it's OK. We're content."