Who else is tired of the endless demands for tolerance for the most intolerant ideology out there? Kudos to Lowe’s for standing up and deciding for themselves that they are not interested in pandering to the religion of peace! The writer of this particular article seems to be the one who is misinformed as to who is doing the cowering…
By Peter Himler | Forbes
TIME magazine, The New Yorker, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, The New York Times ABC News… A PR home run? Hardly. These are just a handful of the bigger-branded media outlets that weighed in on TLC’s new reality show “All-American Muslim.”
Would they have done so had home improvement retailer Lowe’s not bowed to pressure from some wacky misinformed group in the wacky misinformed state of Florida? Unlikely.
You know the story. An inherently racist organization called the Florida Family Association took issue with a TLC reality series produced by the same evil geniuses who brought us the high-minded “Real Housewives” juggernaut. “All-American Muslim” gives the nation a counter-intuitive look into the humdrum lives of five Muslim-American families living in Dearborn, Michigan, a city with the nation’s largest percentage of Muslim Americans, but also the home to that most American of companies – The Ford Motor Company.
Of course, it wasn’t Lowe’s intent to thrust its brand and this issue into the national public spotlight. Must watch this Jon Stewart clip on the controversy. Here’s how Lowe’s spokesperson Chris Ahearn explained management’s decision:
“Our decision was not political. It was not social in any way! We just knew that it was a controversial program, and we wanted to reach consumers, and a controversial program is not a place to do that.”
Yes and no, Chris. Ironically, you reached more consumers with your company’s knee-jerk reaction to some Florida whack-jobs than you would have had you left well-enough alone. In fact, had the FFA taken the same tack as that other intolerant similar pleasant-sounding group Focus on Family, and decided to specifically target the show’s national advertisers, you probably would not be as much an object of all those hateful FB posts and this TIME Magazine headline:
“All-American Muslim Meets an Un-American Advertising Pullout“
Lowe’s controlled and reasonable-sounding Facebook fan page post still doesn’t change the underlying (and controversial) decision to capitulate rather than stand up for tolerance and the American ideal. (Are you listening, Mr President?) From Lowe’s Facebook fan page, on which Ben Popken just observed a change in commenting rules:
“It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective – social, political and otherwise – and we’ve managed to make some people very unhappy. We are sincerely sorry. We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment.
Lowe’s has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting 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.
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.
Thank you for allowing us to further explain our position.”
In thinking this one through, clearly Lowe’s PR people didn’t think this one through, clearly. They could/should have anticipated the public outcry that the decision to pull the spots would produce. Personally, I think it’s better to assertively side with the angels, than to mount a lame attempt to avoid controversy.
I bet Lowes’ do-it-yourself customers might even appreciate a display of resolve than the cowing down to the lunatic fringe. Ironically, the advertising avails for “All-American Muslim” are now sold out and the subject of intolerance in America is now on everyone’s lips. Thank you, Lowe’s.