Here’s another reason to shop at Home Depot: Big-box hardware store Lowe’s decided to pull its advertising from TLC’s All-American Muslim because of unspecified complaints about its content. The series profiles several Michigan families who happen to be Muslim but are otherwise very different–and it’s one of TLC’s better series.
The conservative/crazy Florida Family Association (“THOUSANDS OF SUPPORTERS across America who share in the same goal of improving America’s moral environment”) asked its supporters to contact advertisers to complain about the show, arguing in an insane post that the reality series
“is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law. The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.”
So in other words, it doesn’t meet the stereotypes that their tiny brains have concocted, so the show must be evil. Just looking at the organization’s web site makes it clear that it’s the kind of group that should be actively ignored, but their followers’ messages apparently had some impact, as the organization posted an e.mail message from Lowe’s that said, in part, “there are certain programs that do not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines, including the show you brought to our attention. Lowe’s will no longer be advertising on that program.”
On Twitter, Lowe’s said they “did not pull our ads based solely on the complaints or emails of any one group. It is never our intent to alienate anyone,” and followed up with a tweet that insisted, “Lowe’s values diversity of thought in everyone, including our employees and prospective customers.” And the company said in a statement released to the Hollywood Reporter,
“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. We based our decision to pull the advertising on this research and after hearing the concerns we received through emails, calls, through social media and in news reports.”
Bullshit. Reviews of the series have been overwhelmingly positive–although in fairness, those reviews are by people who actually watched it and think critically, rather than reacting emotionally to stereotypes.