Given the chance to go-back on its controversial decision to pull advertising from the TLC reality show All American Muslim, Lowe's has decided to maintain its position. A group of interfaith ministers presented a 200,000 person petition to the company, hoping it would convince the home improvement store to reinstate its advertising. Even after a week of horrid publicity and the heartfelt statements (along with 200,000 signatures) of Faithful America, CREDO Action, Change.org, Groundswell, Sum of Us, and People for the American Way, Lowe's has decided to continue its lonely crusade against All-American Muslim.
Even though Lowe's insists that it didn't pull advertising because of the campaign by the Florida Family Association, a right-wing Christian religious activist group that claims the program is a "clear and present danger" to American values, the underlying reasoning for its position aligns with the FFA. "The decision was absolutely not, despite what's been reported in the media, influenced by any one group," Lowe's vice president of marketing Tom Lamb told the Charlotte Observer. The company claims that the decision to pull ads came before Lowe's even received the FFA petition. Upon hearing from the FF, Lowe's responded with a form letter explaining the ads had already been pulled, Lowe's spokesperson Chris Ahearn told the Charlotte Observer.
Yet, Lowe's still ceased its ad campaign because of pressure to stop supporting a show that depicts Muslim life in Dearborn, MI. No matter who prompted this move, critics still hope the home improvement store would see the bigotry. "Lowe's: Be true to your stated corporate commitment to diversity and reverse your ignorant and un-American decision to pull advertising from All-American Muslim," states CREDO Action's statement, to give one example. The FFA argues the program "riskly hides the muslim agenda." But, considering the reality show follows the very mundane lives of these people, these groups argue that this is the type of programming we need to remove these very stereotypes. The parody below pretty much sums up the way critics feel about the FFA's position.
Though Lowe's didn't reverse its move, the petitioners have gotten the picture. "We respect their business decision," said Reverand James Leach, who went to the company's Mooresville, North Carolina headquarters to present the petition. There's not much else to do.
Lowe's isn't entirely alone in this fight. Besides the FFA, Internet travel site Kayak.com has also stopped advertising along side the show. But seeing the fallout from Lowes' move, Kayak tried its best to distance itself from Lowe's and the FFA with its apology note "We Handled This Poorly." Note: It, too, still refuses to support the show.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.