The recent decision by the national Lowe’s Home Improvement chain to pull its advertising from “All-American Muslim,” a TLC reality show, has landed the company in a public relations mess. The home improvement chain made its decision after being targeted, along with other advertisers, by a religious-right Christian activist group called the Florida Family Association.
The group has condemned the show, a reality series which follows five Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan, as "propaganda" on its website.
Here's what Lowe's posted on its Facebook page explaining its decision to pull the ads:
Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.
A post yesterday by KPCC's Yasmin Nouh addressing the anatomy of the Lowe's controversy drew a long string of comments from readers sharing their thoughts, some of them pretty interesting. Here they are, unedited.
I am boycotting Lowes and support Rusell simson in boycotting them. There should be repercautions for Blantant prejudices
I think commercial sponsors should only be concerned with the audience they reach and stay out of issues around the programing content. Otherwise they will needlessly involve themselves into political controversies that shouldn't be their concern. Of course that principle would also apply to the John and Ken show.
A reader whose handle is too profane to print - but whose comment was clean enough - wrote:
Lowes has the right to do what they want. I guess it would be okay if Russell Simmons wanted to protest chic filet because of their Christian standards. Double bias always come from the left and the minorities.
InTheDark replied with this:
The Florida Family Association's statement was very unfair to a sizable portion of our fellow Americans and to TV producers who dare to show Muslims simply being Americans not involved in advancing Islamic fundamentalism. Lowe's, by discontinuing their ads, showed either agreement with that unreasonable statement or acceptance of it as legitimate.
The appearance is there—that Lowe's corporate leadership considers anti-Muslim discrimination and prejudice to be appropriate in American society. Lowe's could have made a positive gesture in favor of fairness to American religious minorities by continuing the sponsorship it originally undertook with potential consequences anyone could have foreseen. A shame they caved.
So did prado4587:
As a shareholder, I would be disappointed in Lowes' decision. Muslim Americans are highly educated and high income earners. I like companies I invest in to maximize profits instead of making business decisions based on religious beliefs and perceptions.
But apmd disagreed, writing:
Lowes did the right thing.
(everyone so offended and protective when it concerns anything related to islam)
Lowe's isn't the only company to stop advertising on the show. The online travel booking company Kayak admitted it won't continue advertising on "All-American Muslim" when it returns in January although "we adamantly support tolerance and diversity," as chief marketing officer Robert Birge wrote on the company website. "Mostly, I just thougth the show sucked," he wrote.
The Florida Family Association has claimed that several other companies have pulled advertising, but the New York Times reports that at least three have denied the claim, including the Campbell Soup Company, Sears Holdings and Bank of America.