Lowe’s sort of apologizes after pulling its ads from TLC reality series, sparking a backlash from celebs and politicians
Pressure from a conservative evangelical group led Lowe's home improvement store chain to pull its ads from the TLC reality show "All-American Muslim," but now the company is facing calls from celebrities and politicians to boycott Lowe's.
Mia Farrow and Russell Simmons have called for a boycott of Lowe's on Twitter, with Simmons promising to "sic every civil rights agency on (Lowe's) until they straighten this out." He is also urging his Twitter followers to sign a petition – which, as of 3:25 ET Monday, had 9,660 of the 10,000 signatures the creators of the petition are hoping for — to urge other companies to advertise during "All-American Muslim."
Meanwhile, California state Sen. Ted Lieu called the Lowe's ad pull "stunning bigotry."
Lieu posted on his website a copy of a letter he wrote to Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock, calling for the company to apologize for its ad pull or face possible "legislative remedies."
"Lowe's action is bigoted, shameful, and un-American," Lieu wrote. "I call on Lowe's to rescind its action and apologize to Americans who are Muslim. If Lowe's continues its religious bigotry, I will encourage boycotts of Lowe's and look into legislative remedies."
Lowe's, which yanked its advertisements from the TLC series after pressure from the Florida Family Association, didn't respond to a request from TheWrap for comment, but did issue an apology of sorts. The company seems to be expressing contrition that pulling ads made people angry, and not necessarily for actually pulling the ads.
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"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,” Lowe's said in a statement to EW.com. "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.”
"All-American Muslim" is a reality series that premiered in November and revolves around the lives of five Muslim families in Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit.
The Florida Family Association urged companies to boycott the show, charging the series is "propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims … 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."