The Florida Family Association, a Christian group, is claiming that its protests have led to a number of companies pulling their ads from All-American Muslim, a TLC reality-TV show about five Lebanese families in Dearborn, Michigan, that premiered on November 13 and that has been so far well-received. While the national hardware chain Lowe’s has indeed pulled its ads from future episodes of the show after consumer complaints, it is not clear if other companies have pulled their ads for similar reasons. In at least one case, FFA’s claim that a company had pulled its ads has been contradicted by the company itself.
According to FFA, 65 out of 67 companies it targeted have pulled their ads; the companies listed are Bank of America, the Campbell Soup Co., Dell, Estee Lauder, General Motors, Goodyear, Green Mountain Coffee, McDonalds, Sears, and Wal-Mart. However, Home Depot and Sweet ‘N Low both noted (via emails posted on the FFA site) that they had simply only bought one commercial spot, rather than cancelling ads. Amway has indeed “denied” that it had pulled ads from the show and stated that any reports to the contrary are “misleading” and had “falsely named” Amway.
While Lowe’s said that consumer complaints had led to its pulling the commercials, it insisted that the complaints did not come from only one group. A spokesperson, Katie Cody, would not say whether the complaints were anti-Muslim and whether Lowe’s has advertising on shows with characters or themes from other religions, such as Christianity:
“We understand the program raised concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show.”
“…It is certainly never Lowe’s intent to alienate anyone.”
California State Senator Ted Lieu has called Lowe’s “bigoted” and called on the company.
TLC has said that advertising for All-American Muslim is “strong” and “there are no plans to pull the show,” which will continue as planned.
“We urge the American Muslim community and our friends, family, neighbors and all people of conscience to call Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock at (704) 758-2084 or Executive Support Mr. Andrew Kilby at (866) 900-4650 and respectfully complain about this decision.
As Sheila Musaji writes at theamericanmuslim.org:
“Shame on Lowe’s, and shame on every one of these companies if they really did cave in to such bigotry and hatred.”
Indeed. In a letter sent to TLC executives, FFA claims that All-American Muslim is “propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law” – words that more than suggest the extent of the bigotry, hatred and ignorance that some unfortunately hold regarding Muslims; regarding our fellow Americans.
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