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.
KPCC's Yasmin Nouh has been following the controversy over the Lowe's Home Improvement chain pulling its advertising from "All-American Muslim," an otherwise innocuous reality show set in Dearborn, Michigan that premiered last month on TLC. The decision to pull the ads, made after the chain was targeted by a religious-right Christian activist group in Florida, has turned into a public relations disaster for Lowe's, with boycotts threatened and critics alleging bigotry.
What gives? Here's Yasmin's report:
Lowe’s Home Improvement, a national chain store, recently pulled out commercials from TLC’s “All-American Muslim” reality show. A right-wing Christian group called the Florida Family Association led a fervent campaign, in which they urged over 60 corporations to end commercials during episodes.
A liveblogged review last night of the premiere of "All-American Muslim," a new TLC reality show, drew a lively crowd of viewers to the site and a long string of comments. The chat was hosted by KPCC interns Yasmin Nouh and Fareeha Molvi, both second-generation Southern Californians who grew up Muslim in the post-9/11 decade.
They set out to provide a reality check of the show, which follows five Lebanese American families living in the long-established Arab immigrant enclave of Dearborn Michigan. Among the central characters: a cop, a football coach, an aspiring nightclub owner, a young Muslim woman who likes country music and, during last night's episode, married a young man of Irish American descent.
Would the show reflect the reality of ordinary American Muslims, especially those who have come of age during this unique period in history?
Tonight is the premiere of "All-American Muslim," a TLC reality show based in Dearborn, Michigan, a long-established Arab American enclave that is home to the largest community of Muslims in the United States. The show follows five families, including a pair of newlyweds, a cop, a football coach, an aspiring nightclub owner and a large family with four grown children.
While they grew up far from Dearborn in Southern California, KPCC interns Fareeha Molvi and Yasmin Nouh can relate to the young people whose lives the show follows. Both grew up Muslim in the post-9/11 era, Fareeha in a Pakistani immigrant family, Yasmin as the daughter of immigrants from Egypt and Iran. While their cultural backgrounds are different, they shared common experiences coming of age during this unique period in history. Will the reality show accurately capture the experience of living as a Muslim in the United States? Join Fareeha and Yasmin at 10 p.m. Pacific time as they liveblog the show's premiere and provide a reality check.
Photo by Plaubel Makina/Flickr (creative Commons)
The crowd at Dearborn, Michigan's International Arab Festival, July 2006
The ethnic reality show phenomenon continues, this time with Muslims. The Hollywood Reporter and other entertainment trade publications are reporting on the planned November debut of a show called "All-American Muslim," which will follow five families in Dearborn, Michigan, a large and long-established Middle Eastern immigrant enclave.
From today's Reporter piece:
According to the press release, the docusoap "offers an intimate look at their customs and celebrations, as well as the misconceptions, conflicts and differences they face outside—and within—their own community."
Amy Winter, TLC general manager, called All-American Muslim "a perfect fit" for the network. "Through these families and their diverse experiences, we will explore how they blend their values and traditions with everyday life in America, providing insight into their culture with care and compassion," Winter said in a statement.