Lowe's: Apologize for pulling ads from All-American Muslim
I have written about this at my blog, waitiseesomething.com: Lowe's Caves to Anti-Muslim Extremists
*UPDATE: Unfortunately, TLC has decided not to renew All-American Muslim for a second season. They cited low ratings, which is probably due to the fact that there was absolutely nothing controversial about a family of Muslim Americans. As CNN's Erin Burnett put it, "it turns out they were too normal."
This news makes it all the more upsetting that Lowes previously caved to bigoted right-wing extremists who claimed that a family of Muslim Americans being "normal" was controversial.
In light of this development, I could close down this petition, but I have decided to leave it up with a modification. New signers will now be sending a message to Lowes executives to let them know that we will not forget how they caved to these extremists. They allowed the show to go off the air without ever standing up to the bigots who aren't smart enough to know that Muslims are not terrorists. The fact that All-American Muslim is over does not absolve Lowes of their cowardice. **
Here is the original background via ThinkProgress.org:
The TLC reality TV show All-American Muslim chronicles the lives of a group of Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan. The show has been well-received for its fair and realistic portrayal of the Muslim American experience in the United States. Watch a trailer for the show here.
But a reality TV show that lets Americans relate to the lives of Muslims in the United States is an offensive idea to those who want to demonize Islam. The Florida Family Association (FFA) launched a campaign earlier this year to get companies to pull their advertising from the program. FFA claims that 65 of the 67 companies targeted have done this, including home improvement giant Lowe’s and megabank Bank of America:
"The Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, has led a campaign urging companies to pull ads on 'All-American Muslim.' The FFA contends that 65 of 67 companies it has targeted have pulled their ads, including Bank of America, the Campbell Soup Co., Dell, Estee Lauder, General Motors, Goodyear, Green Mountain Coffee, McDonalds, Sears, and Wal-Mart."
One of the companies that FFA claims pulled commercials, Amway, told the Washington Post that such reports were “misleading” and that it has done no such thing. Lowe’s told the paper that it did indeed pull advertising. “We understand the program raised concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show,” said Katie Cody, a spokeswoman for Lowe’s.
The Islamic Circle of North America is urging concerned citizens to call Lowe’s and protest their withdrawal of advertising: “We urge the American Muslim community and our friends, family, neighbors and all people of conscience to call Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock at (704) 758-2084 or Executive Support Mr. Andrew Kilby at (866) 900-4650 and respectfully complain about this decision.”
Lowe’s issued this statement on Facebook confirming that it pulled the ads: “Lowe’s has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program.”
The reality TV show chronicled the lives of a group of Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan. The show had been well-received for its fair and realistic portrayal of the Muslim American experience in the United States. But a reality TV show that lets Americans relate to the lives of Muslims in our country is an offensive idea only to those who want to demonize Islam, and foster hate.
The Florida Family Association (FFA) was behind the campaign that put pressure on your company to pull your advertising from the program.
The FFA has a history of bigotry - not only of Islamophobia, but also homophobia. By caving to bigots, Lowe's was essentially supporting and disseminating negative stereotypes about American Muslims.
This show was neither ‘propaganda’ nor a ‘clear and present danger to the liberties and traditional values’ of Americans. As Americans, we value tolerance, understanding and coexistence - all of which were cultivated through All-American Muslim. What portion of Lowe’s advertising guidelines is adverse to these ideals?
Lowe's tweeted a defense of their decision saying "Lowe’s values diversity of thought in everyone, including our employees and prospective customers." But I will not support a corporation that panders to bigotry and the demands of hate groups, and many others are joining in on the boycott of your stores.
See the following poignant video on YouTube:
As you may be aware, All-American Muslim is no longer on the air. Perhaps you think that now everyone will forget your cowardice.
I am writing you to tell you that I have not forgotten.
There are now a record number of hate-groups in this country - many aimed at Muslims. You could have stood up for positive portrayals of Muslims in American culture, but you did not. Shame on you.