Ministry leaders say that they “respect” company’s decision, despite disagreement
Lowe's is sticking with its decision to pull advertising from "All-American Muslim."
Despite being presented with a petition containing 200,000 signatures urging Lowe's to apologize and reinstate its advertising on the TLC reality series, the retailer is standing firm in its decision to pull its ads, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Several clergy members descended on Lowe's Mooresville, N.C., headquarters Tuesday morning, armed with the petition, and while the hour-long meeting with Lowe's executives was amicable, the company was unbowed by the request.
The contingency included Rev. Russ Dean of Park Road Baptist Church, Rev. Jay Leach of the Unitarian Universalist Church, and other representatives of the interfaith Mecklenburg Ministries, which is based in Charlotte, NC.
Despite the failure to reach an agreement, Dean told the paper, "We respect their business decision."
Leach added that Lowe's agreement to meet at all was a sign of hope. "There's a way to engage in responsible dialogue, even when we think we have a deep disagreement," he said.
Lowe's decided last month to pull its advertising from the TLC series, which follows Muslim-American families in Dearborn, Mich. Though the company's decision was made amid a campaign against the series by conservative group the Florida Family Association — which urged Lowe's to yank its support — Lowe's has adamantly denied that pressure from the FFA had anything to do with its choice.
Since Lowe's pulled its ads, it has faced fire on a number of fronts. Actress Mia Farrow and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons have called for a boycott of the company. Meanwhile, the company's Facebook page became the scene of a raging debate.
"Some of the comments have been sharp and disrespectful in tone, but out of respect for the transparency of social media, we let the debate continue," the company wrote in a Dec. 14 post. "However, we have seen a large volume of comments become more pointed and hateful. As a result, we have taken the step of removing all previous posts and will more tightly filter future comments on this topic."