As much of a beating as Lowe’s has taken after pulling their ads from “All-American Muslim,” they have to be given credit for sticking to their decision despite enormous public pressure to change their minds. Case in point: The Charlotte Observer reports that representatives of the home improvement retailer met with two clergy who came to the company’s headquarters with a 200,000-signature petition to restore their ads to the show, and the clergy came away from the meeting with a polite but firm “No.”
The Observer article, though, does a good job of laying out the sequence of events that led to Lowe’s pulling their ads, as they’ve maintained from the start that their decision was not made because the Florida Family Association or any other interest group requested them to do it. In fact, they claim their decision to pull the ads came a day before they got the e-mail from the FFA, after they saw the social media response to the presence of their ads on the show. The ad was part of a bulk buy, which means they bought ads on TLC without knowing on which shows they’d air.
If Lowe’s account is to be believed, then it makes their position to not bow to the backlash more understandable. Also, they seem to want to stick to their conviction that they can spend their advertising budget any way that they want, which is as admirable as the people who are protesting the company for making that decision. At least they met with the clergy and listened to what they had to say, rather than turning them away at the front desk.
That being said, we maintain that “All-American Muslim” isn’t really worth all this controversy: it’s a pretty uneventful show, and it feels like the controversy is the only thing that’s keeping the show in the pop culture spotlight. Maybe at this point, Lowe’s refusal to capitulate will help this non-story fade from the headlines.
Watch a scene from “All-American Muslim”: