Lowe’s in crosshairs over ‘Muslim’ ads

Pols seek apology, reinstatement of ads

Home-improvement chain Lowe’s is facing calls for a boycott, after the retailer heeded the call by a conservative Florida activist group for advertisers to stop sponsoring TLC’s “All-American Muslim.”

Lowe’s wrote to the Florida Family Assn. last week saying, “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.”

The group is logging the advertisers on each week’s program and said that some 65 advertisers who were visible on previous segs did not appear during the Dec. 4th and Dec. 5th episodes of the show.

But there’s been a backlash against Lowe’s in particular, with California state senator Ted Lieu sending CEO Robert Niblock a written demand for an apology for the “bigoted, shameful and un-American” ad pull, and a reinstatement of the retailer’s advertising on the program.

Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison has joined the fray as well. The legislator is arguably the most prominent Muslim in American politics and addressed the controversy Monday via his website. “Lowe’s Corporation has chosen to uphold the beliefs of a fringe hate group and not the creed of the First Amendment, which guarantees of the free exercise of religion,” wrote Ellison.

“All-American Muslim” follows the lives of Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan, a city with a notably high concentration of Muslim citizens.

Lowe’s apologized for making “some people very unhappy” but didn’t budge on its decision to pull ad dollars from the show, saying that it had received “a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible.”