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Entries in All-American Muslim (3)

Thursday
Dec152011

Travel Site Pulls Ads from TLC's 'All American Muslim'

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Travel website Kayak.com will remove all advertising from TLC's new reality-TV program All-American Muslim days after an outcry over a similar decision by home improvement retailer Lowe's tore across the Internet.

A Kayak.com spokesman says that it has not pulled advertising from the program because of protests and backlash from conservative groups, including the Florida Family Association, but because TLC was, "not up front about the nature of this show."

The TLC reality-TV show focuses on the lives of five families in the greater-Detroit area. The conservative Florida Family Association organized an email campaign aimed at Lowe's to drop its ads from the show, calling it "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values."

Robert Birge, Kayak's chief marketing officer, wrote a letter on the company's website Wednesday saying that he is deeply sorry that the company's decision comes across as bending to bigotry.

"It's a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod," Birge says in the letter. "We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn't let us know their intentions. That's not a business practice that generally gets repeat business from us. I also believe that it did this subject a grave disservice. Sadly, TLC is now enjoying the attention from this controversy."

Birge said the company received hundreds of letters from people who he believes wrote from a template found on the Florida Family Association's website, and that the, "amount of vitriol in the emails was saddening." He added that those who wrote to express disappointment in Kayak.com's advertising decision were much more civil.

He also said he viewed the first two episodes of All-American Muslim and, "thought the show sucked."

In a statement Sunday, Lowe's had used language similar to Birge's, stating that it made the decision to remove ads from the show when it became a, "lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives -- political, social and otherwise."

After the controversy over Lowe's withdrawal of advertising, liberal advocacy group Moveon.org began a petition earlier this week asking major companies to, "fight back against bigotry and fear-mongering by publicly repudiating calls to stop advertising during TLC's All-American Muslim."

The Florida Family Association has said that 75 companies that were targeted decided not to advertise again during the Dec. 11-12 episodes of All-American Muslim.

The organization said it will no longer post the names of the companies that pull off the show because of intense scrutiny by opponents.

Many have now vowed never to shop at Lowe's again and called the company's behavior un-American. Lowe's has yet to comment on whether it will reinstate its ads on the show.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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

Monday
Dec122011

Criticism After Lowe’s Pulls Ads from TLC's 'All-American Muslim'

Alex Wong/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- A decision by home improvement retailer Lowe’s to pull its advertisements from the reality series All-American Muslim, which airs Sunday nights on TLC, has drawn criticism from some.

The Detroit News reports that Suehaila Amem, a cast member of the show, which centers on the lives of five Muslim families in Dearborn, Mich., called Lowe's actions, “sad.”  Meanwhile, local Muslims referred to the matter as, “a slap in the face of our rich American diversity.”

A Lowe’s spokesman tweeted on behalf of the company: “We did not pull our ads based solely on the complaints or emails of any one group. It is never our intent to alienate anyone.”

The company has not said whether a campaign against the show by the conservative Florida Family Association influenced their decision.

The association posted on its website, “All-American Muslim is propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

A Lowe's representative reportedly wrote back to the Florida Family Association: “Thank you for contacting Lowe’s. We work hard to listen to our customers and respond to their concerns. Lowe’s has strict guidelines that govern the placement of our advertising. Our company advertises primarily in national, prime-time television programs and on a variety of cable outlets. Lowe’s constantly reviews advertising buys to make certain they are consistent with its policy guidelines.”

Lowe’s also made a statement on its Facebook page, part of which reads: “Lowe’s has received a significant amount of communications on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.”

Amem said on Sunday, “I’m saddened that any place of business would succumb to such bigots and people trying to perpetuate their negative views on an entire community.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio