Lowe's is taking heat for pulling its advertising from the TLC reality series All-American Muslim, about the daily lives of several Muslim families in Michigan. Conservative groups complained to Lowe's and other advertisers that the show is pro-Muslim and anti-American "propaganda." But now the home-improvement retail giant is under fire from the other side. A California state senator is threatening legal action, music mogul Russell Simmons calls the move "Islamophobic," and furious consumers are expressing outrage on Lowe's Facebook page. The company says it's sorry people are upset. Was Lowe's wrong to pull its ads?
Yes. The company should be ashamed: This is pure "cowardice," says Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress. There is nothing "radioactive" about All-American Muslim, other than the fact it angers "Muslim bashers." If anything, the show promotes family values, responsible discussions about faith, and the celebration of community. By pullings its ads, Lowe's is "rather aggressively folding to virulent Islamophobes."
"The cowardice of Lowe's, and the bigotry of All-American Muslim bashers"
No. The outrage is ridiculous: The critics are hypocrites, says Bobby Eberle at GOP USA. When a company supports a radical or controversial TV show, it earns praise "in the name of 'inclusion.'" If it takes a stand for traditional values, it gets "attacked, ostracized, and targeted." Lowe's deserves "the freedom to advertise whenever and wherever it wants," especially if it doesn't want to be associated with a controversial show.
"It's still a free country, isn't it?"
Lowe's might regret this: All-American Muslim is simply a reality show "about a bunch of Muslim people in Michigan," says Jill Filipovic at Feministe. One talks about his love of football. Another has ambitions of opening a night club. These are ordinary people who "have interests and hobbies and friendships and lives that do not in fact involve being terrorists." The show wasn't controversial until Lowe's — and McDonald's, and Walmart, and a half dozen others — yanked their commercials. Now they're facing a backlash they could have avoided.
"Ads pulled from All-American Muslim"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The forgotten victims of the war in Ukraine
- 10 things you need to know today: July 28, 2014
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Blame Obama and U.S. evangelicals for the persecution of Iraqi Christians
- A gay Mormon's complicated journey
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week