In My Opinion
Group Pressuring Advertisers to Ditch "All American Muslim" Sends Dangerous Message
Lowe’s is enduring some serious backlash for its recent decision to pull ads from the TLC reality show “All-American Muslim” after it seemed to have caved from pressure from one Florida group who called the show “propaganda.” The TV show is an eight-part series that follows several Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan.
Lowe’s took to defending their position, and posted a comment on their Facebook page that they were “sincerely sorry” for making several people unhappy, but “we have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers and we’re proud of that commitment,” the statement said.
I’m sure they are not so proud of the 28,559 and counting comments on that Facebook post. Outraged folks. Muslims vs. Christians. Anti-religion zealots. Ahh, the real America.
Sheesh! For people accusing Lowe’s of religious intolerance, there’s a whole lotta dogmatism in those comments.
The whole drama started after the Tampa-based Florida Family Association launched a campaign by its 35,000 members and sent complaints to Lowe's and other advertisers saying the organization believes the program is “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values,” and does not accurately depict Muslims because it shows families that are not extremists. The group said it drove other advertisers away as well. Several politicians have called the organization, which has also protested "Gay Days" at Walt Disney World, a hate group.
What is it called when a group that some label as extremist, calls out another group for being extremist? Pot. Kettle. I don’t know.
And propaganda?? Umm, has anyone at the group turned on Fox News lately?
And I’m sorry, there are a lot worse reality shows out there doing more damage to American values that advertisers should be targeting. Maybe it’s just me. Lowe’s please pull your ads from "Jersey Shore" or that awful "Basketball Wives," for crying out loud.
But when the group says the show is an effort to “inaccurately portray Muslims in America,” it is rejecting that reality in favor of stereotypes. And whenever anyone is basing their opinions on stereotypes, we are treading down a dangerous path. Such a shame advertisers would follow them.
Perhaps the same group could have argued that The Cosby show was “propaganda” because it did not accurately portray African Americans because it shows a family that is not poor. Or uneducated and living in the ghetto. Or maybe that the George Lopez show was propaganda because there weren’t fifteen Latinos living in their house. Is propaganda anything that doesn’t cater to the prevailing stereotype? And is it ever fair to judge a whole ethnic group on the actions of some?
I’m sure there’s something in the Bible about not judging.
What bothers me most about the Lowe’s flip flop is the flip flop. A company can do what they want, but they should carefully consider their advertising decisions before signing on the dotted line. What’s more, the whole idea of changing your position because of external pressure flies in the face of standing for what you believe in—which is supposedly also another founding American principle.
But then again, what do I know?
What do you think of Lowe’s decision? Will you watch the show?