A recent decision by Lowe's Home Improvement to remove commercials from future episodes of TLC's "All-American Muslims" has sparked a boycott and criticism against the national chain. The move came at the behest of a right-wing group called the Florida Family Association, which waged a campaign that targeted over 60 companies urging them to remove advertisements during the program.
TLC's newest reality show, which debuted last month, chronicles the lives of five Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan. According to the Tampa Bay group, however, the show only profiles ordinary Muslims and “is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law.”
The group alleges that other companies have pulled out advertisements as well, including Amazon, Bank of America and Home Depot, but Lowe’s is the only one that verified it in their Facebook post: “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.”
Muslims and non-Muslims across the spectrum have criticized the chain’s move. Senator Ted Lieu issued an open letter to Lowe's CEO condemning the company’s actions, calling them bigoted and shameful. Russell Simmons tweeted about buying TLC’s remaining ad time on “All-American Muslims.”
Was pulling the ads warranted? Will Lowe’s end up losing more customers in an effort to please a right wing Christian group? How bad of a public relations move is this? How much of a dent will this make in Lowe's business?
Mike Mosallam, Co-executive producer, All American Muslim, also related to most of the people on All American Muslim.
Sam Theilman, Television Reporter, Variety