Just in time for the holidays, it’s a PR debacle inspired by religion—and bigotry.
Home improvement giant Lowe’s ran ads during the TLC show “All-American Muslim.” You probably know how the story goes from here, but we’ll tell you anyway.
Uber-conservative group Florida Family Association complained and called the program “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”
I can only assume that the group didn’t actually watch an episode, but it didn’t stop Lowe’s from pulling the ads.
That prompted a state senator from California to call Lowe’s decision “un-American.” Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance is considering taking action if Lowe’s doesn’t apologize to Muslims and start running the ads again.
Here’s Lowe’s statement on the matter, posted to its Facebook page:
“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 [sic] 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.”
For his part, Lieu is calling for consumers to recognize that “Lowe’s is engaging in religious discrimination.”
The Facebook post has since elicited nearly 10,000 comments (and 1,500 likes, curiously). Of those 10,000 comments, BuzzFeed has compiled the “25 Dumbest.”