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HGTV Axes 'Flipping It Forward'
By: Jennifer Graber
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Back in April, HGTV announced a new reality show, Flipping It Forward, featuring brothers David and Jason Benham. The new show was slated to highlight a deserving family each week whose “fixer-upper” home was turned into a “dream home” by the Benhams. However, HGTV has decided to cancel Flipping It Forward in the wake of a recently released report. The report, released by Right Wing Watch, lists the personal, religious beliefs of the Benham brothers. What particularly caught the eye of HGTV (and its fans) were the beliefs the Benhams have pertaining to homosexuality and other controversial topics. There are even audio and video clips from events in which the Benhams are seen and heard voicing their beliefs, and leading protests.
 
The storm surrounding the report proved to be too much for HGTV as they announced, via Twitter, that they have “decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers’ series”. But the network was radio silent as far as giving a further explanation or more details. Maybe the cancellation was all the communication HGTV needed. Of course, the Benhams have expressed their disdain for the network’s decision to axe the not-yet-aired television show. The brothers had hoped the show would be a positive example to others as it showcased men of faith helping others. The two have also expressed that they feel there is a great deal of misinformation going around. The Benhams have denied feeling hate towards any group of people, saying they are “called to love.” Despite the cancellation of Flipping It Forward, the Benhams have stated that they will keep their commitment to the six families already selected for the show.
 
Cancelling Flipping It Forward was a bold, calculated move by HGTV. There have been a lot of those moves lately over hot-button topics. HGTV was simply standing up for what it, and its fan base, believes in. And that is an admirable quality for a brand, or person, to possess. HGTV was also likely protecting its assets; if its fan base or advertising jumps ship because of programming, where does the money come from? But what is somewhat confusing in this situation is that the Benhams have clearly stated they do not hate any group of people, nor would they ever engage in discriminatory acts.
 
So why did the network cancel Flipping It Forward? Were the words of the Benhams not sincere? Were the words not enough? Did HGTV just not want to be involved in a controversial issue (too late)? Or was it simply a case of mismatched beliefs? Differing beliefs and opinions are the spice of life and brands, and diversity should be welcome. It would be ideal, and comforting, to have ALL types of people on television who were representing ALL types of views. After all, why allow one but not the other? This is likely not the last we will hear of this. If nothing else, it will be a continuation of an ongoing, and hopefully intelligent, discussion.


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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