Lowe’s stands by decision to pull ads

NEW YORK (AP) — Lowe’s is planning to stick by its decision to yank its ads from a reality TV show about American Muslims despite the growing opposition the home improvement chain is facing over the move.

California Sen. Ted Lieu put a statement out on 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 website Twitter, actor Kal Penn began directing people to a petition on signon.org in support of the TLC cable network show, “All-American Muslim.” By Monday afternoon, there were about 9,200 signatures.

On Monday, U.S. Rep.e Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is Muslim, released a statement 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 concerns directly with the company. She wrote a letter to Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock.

Meanwhile, Lowe’s, based in Mooresville, N.C., said it stands by its Sunday statement 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.” The company also said other advertisers pulled their advertising from the show.

“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.

TLC spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said “All-American Muslim,” which airs on Mondays on TLC and ends its first season on Jan. 8, 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 running commercials during “All-American Muslim” after a conservative group known as the Florida Family Association e-mailed companies to ask them to stop advertising on the show.

The group said the program is “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

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