By Christy Strawser
CBS Detroit Managing Editor
Lowe’s Home Improvement pulled its ads from TLC’s “American Muslim,” a reality show filmed in Dearborn, to meet the demands of the Florida Family Association, which called the show “propaganda.”
“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,” the family association’s website says.
Based on that, the association asked Lowe’s to pull its advertising from the show — and Lowe’s agreed.
So what happens next?
For plenty of people, a Lowe’s boycott is the next step. Calling the move to remove ads “bigoted, shameful and un-American,” California Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, is urging a boycott at a national level, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Locally, Dawud Walid, director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in metro Detroit, told WWJ Newsradio his organization is “utterly shocked by Lowe’s decision.”
“They don’t have a backbone as an organization and really how they depend more on the business of bigots than they do on civil and right-minded people and they’ll have to suffer the consequences for that,” Walid said.
Walid said it is likely his organization will hold some demonstrations and protests in front of area Lowe’s in the coming weeks — but says nothing has been planned as of yet.
Lowe’s responded to the furor in a Facebook post that had almost 10,000 comments on it by Monday morning.
The statement says, in part: “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.”
Comments on the apology ran the gamut, with some supporting Lowe’s right to pull ads from a Muslim centered show and others hotly contesting it.
“I will BOYCOTT LOWE’S from this point forward until LOWE’S apologizes to all Americans for their support of racist white supremacist that think that our country should be only for whites and christians. BEING AMERICAN DOES NOT = BEING WHITE…” wrote Judith Marquez Viramontes.
On the other side, Janie Wood Jordan wrote, “I appreciate what you did, it’s hard to stand up for your values in this country now days, and Lowe’s has a right to support or not-support whomever they want.”
Metro Detroiters have been calling into the WWJ Newsradio 950 newsroom with more comments. “I think it’s kinda ridiculous that Lowe’s would pull their ads. I think that it’s one of the best shows on television,” said a man.
“I’m really glad that Lowe’s took a stand. Finally somebody has,” said one woman.
“I think Christians need to get over themselves,” said another woman. “There are other people in the world. They need to just get over themselves.”
What do you think? Comment below.