Lowe's is standing by its decision to pull ads from TLC's All-American Muslim despite a petition with more than 200,000 signatures urging the company to reinstate the commercials, The Charlotte Observer reports.
Lowe's faces backlash after pulling commercials from TLC's All-American Muslim
On Tuesday, ministers and representatives from the interfaith Mecklenburg Ministries presented the petition at Lowe's headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., asking the home-improvement giant to apologize and reinstate the ads. Lowe's executives met with the representatives for more than an hour — much to the petitioners' surprise — but ultimately denied their request.
"There's a way to engage in responsible dialogue, even when we think we have a deep disagreement," Rev. James Leach said, adding that he appreciated the time the company took to speak with them.
Lowe's came under fire last week when it withdrew its spots from the reality series, which follows the Muslim community in Dearborn, Mich. The move coincided with a protest by the Florida Family Association, a conservative group, which deemed the program as "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values."
Lowe's spokeswoman Chris Ahearn denies that Lowe's felt pressure from the FFA to withdraw the ads, labeling the choice as a routine business decision.
Watch clips from All-American Muslim
According Ahearn, the company's first ad-run on Dec. 4 was part of a bulk ad buy on TLC and executives were aware that All-American Muslim could be one of the shows during which the ads would air, but were not concerned. The next morning, Ahearn said they decided to pull the ads after their social media team pointed out negative comments about the show. That afternoon, Lowe's received an email from the FFA about All-American Muslim, to which the company wrote back saying that its ads have already been pulled, Ahearn said.
Ahearn said Lowe's withdraws ads from shows deemed controversial perhaps eight to 10 times a year, but she did not name any shows.