Lowe’s has pushed a few (hundred) buttons with its decision to pull advertising from the TLC program All-American Muslim after a conservative group, The Florida Family Association, called the show “propaganda” that poses a threat to the U.S. We’ve never seen the show, but we included this clip above. We would characterize it as “really sweet” and “touching” rather than “threatening.”
California Sen. Ted Lieu urged the home retailer to apologize or face his calls for a boycott. Lowe’s issued a statement on its Facebook page apologizing for making “some people very unhappy” and reaffirming its commitment to diversity.
Once this Florida group made its position known, Lowe’s had to come to grips with the fact that someone was going to be unhappy with their decision to run or not run its advertising on this program.
Among the thousands of comments posted on its Facebook page, there are many in support of its decision. On the flip side are just as many giving Lowe’s a tongue-lashing for siding with ignorance. (We agree with the latter. Shame on you Lowe’s!)
Russell Simmons (@UncleRush) has been tweeting his opposition to the Lowe’s decision, launched a petition against the company, and made an attempt to purchase advertising on the show. A spokesperson for the network tells CNN that they could be all sold out, but any remaining time will be purchased by UncleRush.
There comes a point when you can’t please everyone and your brand simply has to stand for what it believes, own it, and be it. Lowe’s pulled the ads because they feared a complaint, then their fears led them to another bad decision: a muddled apology, to who, we’re not sure. The company’s Facebook page and Twitter feed have been quiet (as pointed out here) for a couple of days. Silence isn’t the answer either. Hopefully, Lowe’s is working on something substantive and intelligent to say.
*Update: Here’s a link to a petition from MoveOn.org that asks “that you work to stand up against the bigots of the anti-Islam/Islamophobia industry, whose most concerning complaint is that the show is intent on humanizing American Muslims—as though humanization were not an American value.”