Lowe’s Pulls Ads From TLC Muslim Show

By Pam

Lowe’s Home Improvement stores has pulled its advertising from TLC’s “All-American Muslim” television show reportedly because they received objections from a conservative Christian group. The group, known as the Florida Family Association, complained saying the program was “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.” The group claims that 65 different brands have pulled their advertising from the show in response to emails from its supporters.

TLC says only that “We stand behind the show and we’re happy it has strong advertising support.”

TLC’s “All-American Muslim” premiered last month and follows the lives of five families from Dearborn, Mich. Dearborn is a Detroit suburb with a large Muslim and Arab-American population.

Lowe’s came out with this statement: “As you know, the TLC program All-American Muslim has become a lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives – political, social and otherwise,” the company said. “Following this development, dozens of companies removed their advertising from the program beginning in late November. Lowe’s made the decision to discontinue our advertising on Dec. 5. As we shared yesterday, we have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.”

This decision has sparked criticism and calls for a boycott against the chain. Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance from Southern California said Sunday he was considering calling for a boycott. He called Lowe’s decision “un-American” and “naked religious bigotry.”

Lieu is not the only one who is unhappy with Lowe’s decision. Several celebrities including Russell Simmons and Mia Farrow have taken to Twitter to blast Lowe’s for this decision and Dawud Walid, Michigan director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said he will be calling other religious leaders on Monday to see how non-Muslims are responding to the news.

I have not watched this show but I think that Lowe’s has gotten themselves into quite a mess. However, TLC is most likely smiling.
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Comments

  1. Pam@IW says

    I think it is weak also. They have the right to pull their ads. No doubt about it. However, I sure wish they wouldn’t have done so based on pressure from a conservative religious group. Florida Family Association’s reasoning is just ridiculous.
    .
    “Clearly this program is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad and to influence them to believe that being concerned about the jihad threat would somehow victimize these nice people in this show.”
    .
    I have not seen this show but I have a hard time believing the above statement.
    .

  2. HB says

    It’s a story because of CAIR. Lowe’s stepped up w. the seed money & obviously supported the concept of TLC’s program. Private company who has the right to pull the plug.

    Christian conservatives vs. CAIR = a win, win for CAIR. Nope, haven’t watched the show…maybe that’s the REAL problem. No interest?

  3. stu says

    A private company can either support or withdraw their support at anytime they want.Calling it unamerican is total BS. It is very American for a company to do as it pleases. Just as it is very American to boycott Lowes.
    Why not boycott R. Simmons companies for being a predatory lender. Now there is something I can agree to.

  4. Jennie@IW says

    I heard this last night and was disgusted. I watch the show and people depicted on it are the most mainstream “normal” American people; they just happen to be Muslim. The Florida Family Association has revealed themselves to be bigots and Lowe’s has revealed itself to be willing to listen to bigots. It makes me sad because people on the show have talked a lot about mistaken perceptions of them. It’s not like I thought they were exaggerating, but I did not expect such a stark confirmation that many of their fellow Americans fear and hate them unjustly.
    .
    If the KKK had protested advertising on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (most of the cast is black) and Lowe’s had pulled advertising in response to pressure from the KKK, what would people think? I really think the FFA is one step above the KKK in terms of being a overtly bigoted organization.
    .
    Of course Lowe’s can do what they want. And those who boycott Lowe’s or otherwise make their displeasure known can do what they want within the bounds of the law.
    .
    I wish racism and bigotry were un-American but history has proven otherwise.

  5. PattyPie says

    I am sure that when Loew’s signed up to advertise on “All American Muslim” they had no idea it was a show about Muslims in America.

    Now I will resume banging my head on the table.

  6. Samantha@IW says

    I’m really shocked that Lowe’s would pull advertising because of one group- in one state. I haven’t seen the show yet but I hope to catch it soon.

  7. Pam@IW says

    A company the size of Lowe’s has to research prior to committing to advertising. They must hire someone to manage these campaigns for them that have feelers out in the different communities to figure out the public’s reaction. Also, I mean the title has Muslim right in it so I doubt if there was anything hidden from them.
    .
    I like to shop at Lowe’s occasionally and I won’t stop because of this. But it is disappointing.

  8. Lily@IW says

    I am happy to see Lowe’s getting blasted over this here and there. It’s their right, but it’s a shame to see them bow down and out for such an ignorant reason.
    I’m not a customer of Lowe’s. I dislike their store and it’s seldom that I ever go there.

    I have not yet seen the show, and am interested.

  9. Pam@IW says

    I might not agree with how Lowe’s handled this situation but this is so wrong – From Senator Lieu:
    .
    “Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, told the Associated Press he would also consider legislative action if Lowe’s doesn’t apologize to Muslims and reinstate its ads.”
    .
    “The apology doesn’t go far enough, Lieu said. The senator vowed to look into whether Lowe’s violated any California laws and said he would also consider drafting a senate resolution condemning the company’s actions.”
    .
    Legislate what? Also, private companies have the right to advertise how they see fit..
    .
    There were several different ways Lowe’s could have handled this but that doesn’t mean this needs government involvement.

  10. Lily@IW says

    Whoa! He can’t do that. “I’m going to write a law about you if you don’t do what I say?” Does he get to manage the rest of the Lowe’s funds as well as their advertising?
    What an idiot, why the grandstand?

  11. Samantha@IW says

    Pam, I completely agree. They should have handled it differently, but it is their right to advertise where, what, and how they see fit.

  12. says

    Ok, getting the obvious out of the way Ted Lieu is a dumba#% and an attention seeker. Maybe he wants to stick his nose into kids and reality tv programming next -? California has real problems that he could be putting his time and attention to.
    .
    On the issue of Lowe’s pulling their ads – SHAMEFUL! I totally agree with Jennie that the Florida Family Assocation are complete bigots. Something tells me that the only “families” they care about are those that adhere to their very narrow set of beliefs. Lowe’s have shown themselves to be idiotic and cowardly. I am closer to a Home Depot than Lowe’s, so I rarely shop there. If they did put a store near me, I’d think twice about ever stepping in there though.

  13. PeggyP says

    I thought Lowes’ explanation, which amounted to “We’re not bigoted; we’re cowards.” was disgusting and shameful. Of course, Lowe’s can withdraw its money. It didn’t have to place ads in the first place, but, if they fold under pressure from some fringe group because they’re afraid of controversy, they’re not upholding a principle. It’s impossible to avoid controversy. As we’ve seen with the Khaters, in the absence of facts, they’ll just plain make things up. I think it’s clear that this Florida group would not be happy with anything that didn’t demonize every single Muslim on the planet in general and in the US in particular. The sad thing is that, in doing so, they are playing into the hands of Muslim fundamentalists who want to isolate Muslims from contact in the West. One of the fundamentalists’ claims is that all Westerners are hostile to all Muslims and the fundamentalists’ way is the only way to protect Islam from destruction at Western (i.e., Christian) hands (This is why GW Bush’s early description of the Iraq War as a “crusade” went over like a lead balloon in the Middle East.)

    In totally practical terms, I suspect that Lowe’s will lose far more sales due to its shameful cowardice than the Florida group ever could have cost it.

  14. HB says

    May I again suggest those who are not familiar w. CAIR, to take a peek. If I were to take the time to tell you what they have done in the DC area…I think many would have 2nd thoughts.

    Today we went to Lowe’s & bought a washer & dryer. 10% discount for the military…& wished us a “Merry Christmas”. Would you believe our salesman was Muslim? Yes, she was! The guy running the computer delivery scheduling was in a wheelchair, & the gal cleaning the display appliances was handicapped. This is NOT our normal route. Home Depot is, but the roads are so torn up we diverted. ;0)

  15. snickers says

    I may not agree with what Lowes has down, but being in business is their right to advertise where they want. How many letters were written to sponsers of the Kate and Jon show, saying they wouldn’y buy their product.The K’s show is going through this right now. No law needs to be made, and politicians wasting their time on this issue need to be voted out.

  16. Jennie@IW says

    I think Lieu is trying to make a name for himself and in the process distracting from the real villains here, while giving the bigots an excuse to act like martyrs. Way to go, Sen. Lieu. :-(
    .
    The sad thing is that, in doing so, they are playing into the hands of Muslim fundamentalists who want to isolate Muslims from contact in the West. One of the fundamentalists’ claims is that all Westerners are hostile to all Muslims and the fundamentalists’ way is the only way to protect Islam from destruction.
    .
    The irony being that Muslim fundamentalists and Christian fundamentalists have far more in common with each other than sane people everywhere have with either of them.

  17. Holly says

    “Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, told the Associated Press he would also consider legislative action if Lowe’s doesn’t apologize to Muslims and reinstate its ads.”
    .
    “The apology doesn’t go far enough, Lieu said. The senator vowed to look into whether Lowe’s violated any California laws and said he would also consider drafting a senate resolution condemning the company’s actions.”

    Seriously! Only in the “Nanny State” of CA.would they try to legislate how a corporation conducts business. Let the public decide by not spending their dollars there. The state gov’t should not be involved in this.

  18. Pam@IW says

    From The Hollywood Reporter:
    .

    “Only five episodes into its first season, the series ranked 78th among Sunday’s cable broadcasts for Dec. 11. With only 908,000 viewers and a 0.3 rating among adults 18-49, it’s being easily outperformed by series like History’s American Pickers, Discovery’s Moonshiners and its latest lead-in, Little People Big World: Holiday Surprise.
    .

    This recent episode, which aired two days after news broke of Lowe’s controversial departure as advertiser, continued a downward trend in numbers, not benefiting at all from the added attention. It dropped from a .4 rating in the key demo from the previous week, and fell below the 1-million mark for the first time.
    .

    All-American Muslim did not get off to a terrible start, either. Boosted by a lead-in from the successful Sister Wives, its Nov. 13 premiere earned a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 1.74 million viewers. It dropped 55 percent in its second outing to a 0.5 rating and 1.17 million viewers and continued a steady decline from there.”

  19. stu says

    Must be because we are all Bigoted.

    The irony being that Muslim fundamentalists and Christian fundamentalists have far more in common with each other than sane people everywhere have with either of them.

    When was the last time whacky Christians beheaded someone or blew up a religous service??

  20. JennieIW says

    snickers, I’m disappointed to see you say that. Have you watched this show? These people are just like you and me – they are typical, normal Americans who happen to be Muslim. Sanctioning prejudice against them is indefensible, IMO. These people are not responsible for 9/11, anymore than other questions are responsible for the actions of Timothy McVeigh or Eric Rudolph. I just don’t understand defending prejudice against them. There are millions and millions of Muslims in the world – how many do you really think are terrorists?

  21. PeggyP says

    Jennie (#24) ITA- In addition, if we are talking about the reaction of 9/11 victims, those victims included American Muslims. I’m NOT talking about the murderers (who were all Saudis). I’m talking about Muslims who worked in the World Trade Center (including workers at the Top of the World Restaurant in Tower 1. Although people in the Top of the World survived the initial impact, they were trapped and all died.) I remember when they did the coverage of the 9/11 babies, babies whose mother was pregnant with them at the time of their fathers’ death on 9/11) and it included a Muslim woman.

    Snickers, would you justify the British discriminating against all Irish Catholics because an ultra-radical IRA splinter group murdered Lord Mountbatten, uncle of the Duke of Edinburgh and great-uncle to Prince Charles, and his grandson by blowing up their sailing boat. Other family members were injured. Many others in Great Britain and Ireland, north and south, died as the result of terrorist acts by Protestant and Catholic extremist groups.

    In addition to Eric Rudolph, there are the anti=choice zealots who have murdered four doctors who have provided abortions as well as two clinic escorts and clinic workers. One of the doctors was shot in his home with his family watching by a sniper skulking outside. Another was shot in his church during a service. Should we condemn and shun all who object to abortion on religious grounds?

    In all of those cases, the answer is no, we should not condemn an entire national, religious, or ethnic group or any other group because of the acts of a few whom they cannot control. In most cases, people who belong to these groups are peaceful, law-abiding citizens. If they protest and work for change, they do so non-violently.

    The group that got Lowes to withdraw its ad belongs to an old and terrible strain in American behavior of isolationism and hostility towards those who are perceived as “different”, starting with the “Know-Nothing” movement in the early 19th century that included burning Catholic Churches and killing Catholics. Fighting against that strain is a stronger, I hope, strain of inclusion starting with George Washington’s letter to the Truro Synagogue.

  22. stu says

    I guess what I think people don’t understand is Lowes like any other business only does thing based on their bottom line. THAT’S IT.

    The show was tanking way before the Lowes incident. Was that bigoted people not watching? Or was the show just boring?

  23. Marci says

    My best friend growing up was Iranian. I ate meals with her family, attended holiday celebrations with her extended family, got in trouble with her as a teenager, roomed with her during college, and she was the maid of honor in my wedding. She is married to an American and is a professor at a major university in Denver, CO, and a accomplished artist with many gallery showings under her belt.

    I have no idea what her personal religious views are, nor does she mine. I simply love her as a dear friend.

    Stu’s right, the show is mildly boring…it shows normal American families doing normal American activities. The main conversation about the Muslim religion is among the 20-30 something adults who have as many different opinions and beliefs about how to practice their own religion as any cross section of people would as members of ANY religion. It’s ridiculously normal.

    I highly recommend the show for anyone who is curious about some of the day-to-day ins and outs of the Muslim religion, as well as to gain, I hope, some comfort in the fact that they were and are as angered and hurt as we were, since we’re all American citizens, by the misguided fundamentalist members of their religion.

    And as for the Florida religious group that is part of this conversation, Jenny is right as well, as a fundamentalist group they are going to HATE and think fundamentally wrong ANY other religion, including other Christian sects. In that aspect, they are equals to their fundamentalist Muslim counterparts.

  24. Holly says

    Another big Corporation Kayak has pulled their advertising for American Muslim: Robert Birge the Marketing Director said this:
    He said TLC had misrepresented the series when pitching it to Kayak. Rather than pulling its ads, Birge said, Kayak decided not to re-up when the show returns in January.

    “The first thing I discovered was that TLC was not upfront with us about the nature of this show,” Birge wrote. “As I said, it’s a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions. That’s not a business practice that generally gets repeat business from us. I also believe that it did this subject a grave disservice. Sadly, TLC is now enjoying the attention from this controversy.”

    I have never seen the show, I just wanted to share this info.

  25. Marci says

    I’m still not seeing/hearing from these advertisers exactly how TLC actually misrepresented this show and how they were “duped”. Am I missing something?

  26. HB says

    Thanks Holly. Very interesting, & certainly puts a lid on just how TLC is pitching their shows…! Hearing Marci’s take (I’ve not seen the show) it sounds like a sleeper w. NO purpose other than Muslims can have a reality program too. I don’t quite understand ‘lightning rod’ unless TLC has tried to explain ‘radical’…which could be said exists in most religions I know about? IF I threw out that I am a ‘high Episcopalian’…I’m sure I’d get some…’what’s that’?

    Marci, while I can’t say I know a Muslim, I can say that they live & are very much a part of our tranquil neighborhood. They mow their yards, walk their children & dogs. The only complaint I have…they obey the speed limits in the left lane. ;0) I don’t want to make light of a serious subject, but quite frankly…I’d like to wrap my arms around this season to be… ‘JOLLY’. ;0)

  27. Marci says

    @HB – LOL! Get to know your neighbors…the food is amazing and Middle Easterners love to throw a party!!!

    I want to amend a bit my description of my good friend. She is an American citizen (don’t know if that was clear). I remember being surprised when she became a citizen while we were in high school because she was SOOOO “American” it hadn’t occured to me she wasn’t a citizen already.

    I know it isn’t new in our history as a country/people to lay the blame and carry suspicion for the evil done by “others” on the American citizens who happen to be of the same culture/ancestry….Japanese internment camps during WWII anyone??? My mother’s maiden name is German and she was called all sorts of names during and after the war. Interesting, isn’t it, that German-Americans were not interred as well? I wonder why “we” were so lucky. But it does sadden me to see it happening again in “real time”. Too much anger and frustration is being aimed at the wrong people, and I, for one, will speak up against it as much as possible. I see many others here feel the same and have said as much. If you’re unsure or you “don’t know any Muslims”, all I ask is that you try to learn. We are, all of us, more the same than we are different.

    There….a message for the season. :)

  28. Pam@IW says

    Well Kayak basically said the show sucked. I mean they did say the show sucked.
    .
    “Kayak Pulls Ads from ‘All-American Muslim’: ” Kayak.com has decided it will not run ads for the second season of the TLC reality show “All-American Muslim.” The online travel Website made the decision based on the quality of the show, according to the chief marketing officer. The company, which received letters from the Florida Family Association as a part of the group’s campaign to have advertisements pulled from the reality program, said that the move wasn’t made because of outside pressure. Home improvement giant Lowe’s had previously pulled ads from the show. In a letter titled “We Handled This Poorly,” Kayak CMO Robert Birge wrote, “Unfortunately, this decision comes across as bending to bigotry. It also appears that we did not support people who deserve support as people and as Americans. For that, I am profoundly sorry. I should have communicated more clearly. We would not want anyone to think that we caved to hatred.” Birge continued, “I watched the first two episodes. Mostly, I just thought the show sucked.” A representative for TLC had no comment.”

  29. Pam@IW says

    I wish he would expand on this:
    .
    “As I said, it’s a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions.”

  30. Jennie@IW says

    I don’t think the show sucks. It’s a little boring – I’d liken it to the Duggars’ show, which can also be a little boring. Neither is “Jersey Shore” – you’re not going to get controversy and drama.
    .
    If Kayak did not re-up their ads because of low ratings or because the show was boring, that’s fine. It sounds like (if I have this right) the Florida Bigot Group touted Kayak as bending to their pressure, but that’s not the case.
    .
    However, as I understand it, it IS the case with Lowe’s. At least that’s how the Florida bigots have framed it, and how Lowe’s itself has framed it. That the decision was based on pressure from the group. And remember, the group’s pressure is based on the fact that the show portrays Muslims in A NON-BIGOTED light. THAT is what offends this disgusting group. It’s as if they pressured an advertiser to drop a show that showed Jews but failed to depict them as Christian-baby-blood-drinking. The Florida bigots are a fringe group with extremist, hate-filled views and a major, major corporation is listening to them and bending to their bigotry. That is the problem. Yes, it’s their right, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a problem.

  31. says

    Marci says… Too much anger and frustration is being aimed at the wrong people, and I, for one, will speak up against it as much as possible.
    .
    Very well said, Marci. I think we all need to speak up more. We can be better than this.
    .
    Somehow I’m not really buying Mr. CEO. Blaming TLC seems…convenient. Does he personally watch every program Kayak advertises on?
    .
    If anything good comes of this debacle it’s that advertisers give real thought before caving into the hateful and ignorant demands of a very small fringe group.

  32. Teresa E. says

    “I guess what I think people don’t understand is Lowes like any other business only does thing based on their bottom line. THAT’S IT.”
    .
    “The Florida bigots are a fringe group with extremist, hate-filled views and a major, major corporation is listening to them and bending to their bigotry.”
    .
    That’s why I don’t get why Lowe’s even did what they did. I mean, how much influence could the FFA possibly have on their consumers and their profits? What is it really about? If it’s publicity then giving in to bigots is not going to help their bottom line much either.

  33. Pam@IW says

    I am not sure if anyone remembers but we did a post supporting a website called “My Fellow Americans”. You can find it here:
    .
    http://www.imperfectwomen.com/my-fellow-american/. It was in support of this website: http://myfellowamerican.us/
    .
    My Fellow American is an online film and social media project that calls upon concerned Americans to pledge and spread a message that Muslims are our fellow Americans.
    .
    They have contacted us and asked if we would encourage our readers to support their project by going to their website and share what this controversy means to you.
    .
    You can also follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/USMuslimStories and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyFellowAmericanProject?sk=wall

  34. richard harris says

    Immigration is the tool that the left-wing is using to change the deographic makeup of the American voting base from an historically conservative character to a decidedly left-wing character. They accomplish this by bringing in people from poor countries who are economically disadvantaged. In many cases these people end up being dependant on government support. It is the social dependancy that left-wing politics promulgates that is the magnet for poor third worlders to come here in the first place. The left-wingers have brought in 50 million third worlders in the last 30 years. So how is it that people are shocked to learn 50% of our population today lives below the poverty line. It’s because we are continuing to import poor people. With real unemployment at 18% we clearly do not have the economic base to support continued immigration. Therefore we need to stop all legal and illegal immigration and tell the left wingers to shove off.

  35. Marci says

    “Give me your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

  36. Pam@IW says

    For anyone that is interested:
    .
    Hi Pam

    Many Americans remain confused about Islam and Muslims in America in the wake of anti-mosque protests, anti-Shariah legislation and related controversies. Starting at 7:30 pm EST tonight, we¹re hosting a town-hall style program where a live audience and online viewers will have an opportunity to ask hard questions to leading authorities on Muslim Americans, religious liberty, and interfaith relations.

    I believe you and the readers of imperfectwomen will be interested in sharing, watching, and discussing:

    http://myfellowamerican.us/newseum

    I would love it if you could share the webcast and post or tweet about it. If you do, please let me know. And please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you so much.

    Daniel Tutt

    Project Director,

    My Fellow American

    Twitter: @usmuslimstories

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MyFellowAmericanProject

    Web: http://myfellowamerican.us

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