NEW YORK (AP) — Home improvement chain Lowe’s plans to stick by its decision to yank its ads from a reality TV show about American Muslims amid growing debate over the move.

California Sen. Ted Lieu said Sunday that he is considering calling for a boycott of Lowe’s Cos., sparking criticism of the chain from both inside and outside of the Muslim community.

On social media web site Twitter, actor Kal Penn began directing people to a petition on in support of the TLC cable network show, “All-American Muslim.” By Monday afternoon, there were about 9,200 signatures.

U.S. Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is Muslim, released a statement Monday condemning Lowe’s for choosing “to uphold the beliefs of a fringe hate group and not the creed of the First Amendment.”

And Democratic state Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, the first Muslim elected to the Michigan Legislature, voiced her concern in a letter to Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock.

“I told them I was extremely disappointed that you give credibility to these hate groups,” Tlaib said. “People of Muslim faith are being attacked. It’s disappointing, disheartening.”

Lowe’s, based in Mooresville, N.C., said it stands by its statement on Sunday that it pulled the ads after the show became a “lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives — political, social and otherwise.”

“All-American Muslim,” which premiered last month, chronicles the lives of five families who live in and near Dearborn, Mich., a Detroit suburb with a large Muslim and Arab-American population. It airs Sundays on TLC and ends its first season Jan. 8.

TLC spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said the show has garnered a little over a million viewers per week.

“We stand behind the show ‘All-American Muslim,'” she said. “We’re happy the show has strong advertising support.”

Lowe’s stopped its commercials after a conservative group known as the Florida Family Association emailed companies to ask them to do so. The group said the program is “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

Florida Family Association, based in Tampa, Fla., said that more than 60 companies that it emailed, from Amazon to McDonalds, pulled their ads. So far, Lowe’s is the only major company to confirm that it pulled ads from the show.

Amazon, McDonald’s and other advertisers did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Atlanta-based Home Depot, which was cited by Florida Family Association as a company that stopped advertising, said Monday that it never intended to run any ads during the show. But spokesman Stephen Holmes said one commercial ran “inadvertently and without our knowledge.”

The controversy highlights the fine line companies walk when they select shows to advertise on.

Branding expert Laura Ries said Lowe’s made two mistakes. The first was advertising during a show that could be construed as controversial. The second was pulling advertising too quickly.

“For a big national brand like Lowe’s, they’ve always got to be incredibly careful when advertising during any show that could be deemed controversial,” she said. “Will it seriously damage the brand in the long term? Probably not. But it is a serious punch in the stomach.”

Overall, analysts said the furor is unlikely to damage Lowe’s brand in the long term.

“For a company that generates $50 billion in annual revenue, I don’t view this as something that will have a meaningful impact,” said Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom. “I’m hopeful this blows over and I’m certain management is as well.”

Still, some worry Lowe’s ad flap could hurt Muslims, particularly those among the 150,000 to 200,000 who live in the Detroit area. Earlier this year, Florida pastor Terry Jones held an anti-Islam rally outside Dearborn City Hall after being barred from protesting outside a Muslim mosque in the city.

The burning of a Quran in March at Jones’ church in Florida led to a series of violent protests in Afghanistan that killed more than a dozen people.

“Metro Detroit and Dearborn have been the focal point of a number of anti-Muslim movements,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter. “There are organized forces in our society that want to marginalize American Muslims to the point where they don’t want to see any portrayals of Muslims that regular Americans can connect to.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (50)
  1. NO STADIUM!!!!!! GO TO L.A. says:


  2. Reailty says:

    Looks like I will be getting some new tools at Lowes. Glad to see they are not going to be Bullied around by a bunch of liberals who use hateful words against them.

    1. smb says:

      No just bullied by a hate group claiming to be ‘Christian’.

      1. haters says:

        I don’t understand how people can call themselves christian and yet spout such intense hate about another group that is living as productive, considerate, responsible members of society. Doesn’t seem like the kind of teaching most people get from the bible.

        1. Jake says:

          Which ‘group’ are you talking about?? Do you mean the women who were sending money to Somalia, to be collected by al shabab, so they can terrorize their own people, attack legitimate shipping, train terrorists, do you mean THOSE PEOPLE??

          I haven’t been in a Lowe’s store for years. Maybe I should start. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Sending money overseas to rogue, arab nations is no solution, it only benefits the dictators, the radicals, the terrorists, and the barbarians. Their ‘governments’ always get their ‘cut’.

          1. haters like you says:

            Nice, making generalizations about an entire ethnic group based on the activities of a few. Notice how I didn’t say all christians are evil and filled with hate. I specifically mentioned the ones that are directing hate at the people on the show.
            And you are part of the solution? Spreading the smears?

            1. jackactionhero says:

              Muslims are an ethnic group?

      2. Business as Usual says:

        And now they aren’t being bullied back by another hate group? Lowes will have to decide which group threatening to boycott them will impact their business more. That’s just business in our over sensitive political correctness world.

    2. llp says:

      Hate is Hate no matter who you are and these comment pages are full of hate.

  3. al says:

    I stand behind Lowe’s. They have the right to do what they want with their air time and money. I think this is getting ridiculous that people can’t have opinions about the muslim faith. I think it is becoming sickening that Christians are constantly being harassed and no gives a flying fig about that but as soon as someone has a negative opinion about Islam they are considered bigotted,unfair closed minded. Sorry you all don’t sound very open minded either!!!! Read the Quran and find out how
    “peaceful ” of a religion it really is.

    1. Molly says:

      Very good comment!!! I totally agree!!! you are exactly right-on man!!

    2. smb says:

      So then they should have the right to air their commercial when they want without the fear of being bullied by a few ‘christians’ sending emails from their church basement.


    3. jackactionhero says:

      ” I think it is becoming sickening that Christians are constantly being harassed”

      Uhhh, they are? What are you basing that on? Please be specific.

    4. llp says:

      All of your vodoo religions preach hate.

  4. TL the alligator says:

    i’m going to Lowes and giving them my business for at least the next year or so in support of their decision……who do these dam muslims think they are?….its Lowes right and they owe NOBODY an apology…..i’m waiting now for the “american christain” series and the “american jew” series…..WHAT?…there will be no more?… THATS discrimination…..all this controversy because of the islamists and their insistence on making other people accept them and their ridiculous beliefs in a pedophile, murderer, liar, and blowhard that called himself a prophet.

    1. me says:

      There won’t be shows with those titles because christians and jews is who makes up the rest of television. Discrimination against a mojority? Doesn’t work that way.

    2. bunnie25 says:

      I am with you and will also be giving Lowes more of my business

  5. Proud to not conform says:

    Bigotry in mass form is still bigotry. Groups like this will always find fault with you unless you are exactly like them. Who stand for you when it’s your turn to be targeted? This may be Lowe’s right but it’s also my right to take my money else where in protest.

    1. Jake says:

      You are ‘free’ to MIGRATE to any country that you feel will treat you better than THIS ONE DOES. I won’t try to stop you, I PROMISE.

      1. kate says:

        Where do they say that the country is treating them poorly? They are complaining about the hate speech of small groups of people.
        We wouldn’t stop you from leaving either.

  6. Lori says:

    I dont understand why some of you are commenting like this is one party idea over the other. where does that come from? How do you twist a story into politics? Im liberal and Lowe’s has a right to do what they want, and I’ll back them with my purchases, because I hate Reality TV. I dont care what kind it is. But that doesnt mean Im on any GOP bandwagon. You’ll never see me on that “no” train. Kudo’s to Lowes.

  7. Jake says:

    It’s about TIME that an American company stand up for some good old fashioned AMERICAN VALUES. It’s taken way too long, but better late than NEVER.

    1. ALL CAPS LOOK AT ME says:

      Since when is caving to a hate group American values? And like they are the only company to cave to racists.

      1. ALL CAPS LOOK AT ME TOO says:

        Cool. You got to say racist and hate group.

  8. Dave Seavy says:

    Lowes owns the company, and they are exercising their right to advertise in the manner they choose. I own a business – I will control it – it won’t be any “group” pressuring me to do things just because that’s the way they think it should. Pay my bills, you can tell me how to advertise. Until then – tough luck. It’s so ridiculous that we have to be so careful these days for fear of offending someone. Fact is, there are people out there just looking for things to be “offended” about, so they can become “victims.” Not in my camp.

  9. proudofLowes says:

    What would the uproar be if a show aired called All American Christian or All American Jew?

    Oh wait — there is one — its called the NFL – TEBOW!!

    Let’s compare the flack…

  10. Wake up people says:

    Muslim. Christian. Whatever. Get a grip people and finally realize that “smoke & mirrors” is all any faith provides. “Magic!” Yeah, that’s what I believe in (rolls eyes). The simple fact is these so called “Muslims” have the lowest respect for human-kind – just look at the 2000+ year cesspool of activity known as the Middle East. Take a lesson from arguably the smartest man in the world today: Stephen Hawking – “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,”

    Regardless, I’ll shop at Lowes, simply because the so called “Muslims” are really just a bunch of tyrants and cowards putting on a facade that this world simply does not need.

    1. smb says:

      Your comment almost had me for a moment there. But then it went into the standard hate B.S.

    2. It's Magic Alright says:

      What faith do you hold to that built that brain? For it does take as much “smoke & mirrors” faith (rolls eyes) to believe that a brain (compared to a computer that was built by someone) randomly came together (it’s MAGIC!) as well.

  11. ipmutt says:

    Well the first thing I would do is look into the management team that decided this was a good idea and then did not stick to it’s guns when a few people complained. Either it was poorly concieved and not well researched to began with. For sure they cut and ran like a democratic president once the complaints started to come in. And boy what a group of bigots we managed to bring out on both sides of this issue too.

  12. Religion of peace says:

    There is going to to be a jihad on Lowes and then you will all see the true hatred

  13. sickofit says:

    Hooray for Lowes. Unfortunate they advertised on the show in the first place. But the fact is that there are a lot of companies, not just Lowes, who have pulled their ads from the show. Why is Lowes being singled out? Someone has an agenda and is using Lowes to advance it. I am American, I live in a country based on Christian values and I have no obligation to accept a religion, culutre or group of people who have at the core of t heir beliefs the goal to destroy people like me. If they, and other immigrants, want to live here, then they need to adopt American culture – not the other way around them forcing us to accept theirs. NO. Ditch the headwraps, speak English, no 7x/day prayer in our businesses. If you don’t want to do t hat, then go back to where you came from.

  14. smb says:

    Wow, say the word Muslim and the ignorance comes out.

    There were Americans who peacefully practiced Islam before 9/11 and there are Americans peacefully practicing today.

    Are these people trying to destroy our culture:
    Shaquille O’Neal. Muhammad Ali, Larry Johnson, Rasheed Wallace, Husain Abdulah, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, Dr. Oz

    No—they are our culture.

  15. just sayin says:

    I could care less how you label me. I hate muslims. I don’t give a rats behind about them what so ever. I have friends that served – I grew up in North.
    I see these people every day and its not from TV. it’s from real life experience.

    I can’t stand them. Call me whatever you want. I don’t respect them, nor do I have to. If you have a problem with that, you can suck it.

    I’ll shop at Lowes from now on. Thank you Lowes!
    I am tired of people not standing up for America. I don’t want to see them growing in multitudes here and bombing this awesome country.

    How long has the middle east been a dump? Look how they live.
    Look at all the killings. Read the news much?
    That country has been there for X number of years. If America became full of these degenerates, it will just start happening here.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      Fo shizzle

  16. The Angry Walrus says:

    I don’t care what religion anyone is.
    Lowes did not pull their ads because the show was called The American Muslim” They didn’t have an issue advertising on the show to begin with, but when they noticed the level of controversy the show was creating, they decided that they didn’t want to be associated with controversial topic.
    The irony is, that by trying to avoid controversy, they created more.
    I’d be willing to bet that the average American will shop at Lowes more now, because they stuck by their guns, rather than caving in to the PC crowd.

    Who knows, maybe this was just a genius PR move by Lowes to get some free press? 🙂

    1. hunnybear18 says:

      Exactly. I understand there are a lot of businesses who also refuse to advertise during “Teen Mom” as they don’t like the message the show sends. Are they discriminating as well? Or do they just not want to receive emails and calls accusing them of glorifying teen pregnancy? The fact this is being blown out of proportion, even accusing Lowe’s of doing something illegal, is ridiculous. They have a right to choose where they advertise. Everyone else has a right to decide to not spend their money there if they disagree or to shop there if they do.

      1. smb says:

        Your argument is flawed since Lowe’s wanted to advertise on the show and were bullied not to.

        1. The Angry Walrus says:

          I don’t beleive that. I want to hear from Lowes…I want to hear them say they pulled the ads due to the email they received from this group in Florida.

        2. hunnybear18 says:

          This being a new show, most likely they bought time during a certain timeframe, not a specific show.

    2. smb says:

      But they didn’t stick to their guns. They did cave, maybe not to the PC crowd but they did cave to the hate crowd.

      1. The Angry Walrus says:

        I would love to hear from Lowes…is the reason they pulled their ads because of this “christian”group in Florida, or did they just pull the ads on their own, and this group took credit for it?

  17. The Angry Walrus says:

    For those that support Lowes, please show them your support by signing the online petition.

    Will you sign this petition? Click here:

  18. kevin says:

    When I burn a cross, I buy all the things I need at Loews!

  19. llp says:

    thanks WCCO didn’t know the KKK was still this strong in MN

    1. ^ Da da da doh duh duh ^ says:

      Da da da da da da duh duh duh.

  20. I just woke up says:

    Seems there are a lot of people who hate such a peaceful peoples. If muslims were violent racists there would be no story to tell.

  21. G-Mac says:

    Irregardless of what side of the issue one chooses to stand on, the point is, that all religions promote intolerance, hate and bigotry, not to mention a few thousand wars.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Good Question
Best Of Minnesota

Watch & Listen LIVE