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Tuesday
Dec132011

Lowe's Faces Backlash for Pulling Ads from TLC Muslim Show

Alex Wong/Getty Images(MOORESVILLE, N.C.) -- Lowe's is facing heavy condemnation from all over the Internet, including celebrities who have taken to Twitter to denounce the home improvement company following its decision to pull its advertisements from a TLC show called All-American Muslim.

Russell Simmons, the hip hop entrepreneur and chairman for the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, has been vocal with numerous tweets regarding the issue.

In one tweet about Lowe's, he wrote, "U endorse hate. U may be held accountable we will promote a boycott if they don't reinstate campaign and apologise #allamericanmuslim."

"I will sic every civil rights agency on @lowes until they straighten this out," Simmons vowed.

The TLC reality show focuses on Muslim families in the greater Detroit area.  Some groups have objected to the show, with the conservative Florida Family Association, which organized an email campaign aimed at Lowe's to drop the ads, calling it "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values."

"It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective," Lowe's said in a statement posted on its Facebook page, recognizing that "we've managed to make some people very unhappy."

Actress Mia Farrow got involved in the battle, writing, "Big effort on Twitter to hit Lowes where it hurts, Let's all #boycottLowes."

A MoveOn.org campaign with a goal of 20,000 signatures already had more than 19,400 signatures early Tuesday morning.

"Defend our American values: tell these companies to fight back against bigotry and fear-mongering by publicly repudiating calls to stop advertising during TLC's All-American Muslim," said the petition.

The petition is directed at the CEOs of dozens of companies including T-Mobile, Wal-Mart and Time Warner Cable, and asks them to publicly reject requests to pull their ads from the show.

Lowe's said it received a lot of communication regarding the program that became a "lighting rod" for many different views and chose to pull its ads for that reason.

"We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance," the company said. "We strongly support and respect the right of our customers, the community at large, and our employees to have different views.  If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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