Lowe’s is defending its decision late last week to pull advertising from TLC’s All-American Muslim because of insane complaints about its portrayal of Muslims as normal people.
The organization that started the campaign to get advertisers to pull ads, calling the show “propoganda,” is claiming other companies have also stopped advertising. The organization posted a message from Home Depot that, instead of telling the group’s members to go fuck themselves, assured them that no ads are scheduled to run, which is different than pulling ads. They posted a similar, but more disturbing, message from Sweet ‘N’ Low earlier (it said, in part, “We are a family run business and we appreciate feedback from consumers like you, as it is helpful in our planning”).
The difference with Lowe’s is that it is actively defending its decision to pull its ads. Saturday, the company posted a statement to Facebook that said,
“It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective — social, political and otherwise — and we’ve managed to make some people very unhappy. We are sincerely sorry. We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment.
Lowe’s has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting 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.
We strongly support and respect the right of our customers, the community at large, and our employees to have different views. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.”
I don’t see anyone questioning their commitment to respecting different perspectives. The problem is that they’re kowtowing to the group of people who wants the show off the air for clearly irrational reasons. Truly respecting perspectives would mean continuing to support the show so it can generate conversation (although, again, the specific complaint at issue here is absurd and not worthy of discussion).
Just as people can hold whatever kind of beliefs they want and organizations can encourage people to protest against shows they don’t like, Lowe’s can advertise with whoever they want. But it is painfully obvious and very sad that they are caving to bigoted arguments, period. Did anyone at Lowe’s browse the web site of the Florida Family Association, which is full of hatred for groups of people, including those who appear on All-American Muslim?
Worse, Lowe’s is saying that they value a free exchange of ideas less than the business of morons, like the person who posted a comment on their Facebook post that said, in part, “thank you for suporting the Christen way of life. I also enjoy the fact thats Lowes is not afrade to use the word Christmas.”
I’m only afrade of people like that.