December 12th, 2011
01:07 PM ET
Retailer Lowe's is facing backlash from players in politics and entertainment after deciding to pull its advertisements from TLC's "All-American Muslim."
The Learning Channel's series follows five Muslim families living in Dearborn, Michigan, and Lowe's told CNN over the weekend that it has received "a significant amount of communication from every perspective possible" regarding the show.
"Individuals and groups have strong political and social 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 best to defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance."
While the move has received support from the Florida Family Association, which believes the TLC series is "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values," others have spoken out against it.
There's a petition out to encourage advertisers to continue supporting the series, and California Sen. Ted Lieu has also expressed his disagreement with Lowe's decision.
Lieu wrote a letter to Lowe's CEO calling the company's removal of ad spots from the program "bigoted, shameful and un-American," as well as "profoundly ignorant."
"Lowe's religious discrimination is the equivalent of a company asserting that it is pulling advertising from the Christian Broadcast Network's '700 Club' because the program somehow 'riskily hides' the agenda of Christian radicalized groups such as Aryan Nation," Lieu asserts in the letter. "That assertion would, of course, be utter nonsense and religious bigotry."
The senator also called for Lowe's to reinstate its advertising, along with an apology, or he'll encourage boycotts and "look into legislative remedies."
Those outside of the political sphere are outraged as well, with industry titan Russell Simmons, who is also chairman of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, calling foul on Lowe's play.
"This can't happen in America, [Lowe's] needs to fix this immediately...There are American principles at stake here," Simmons told Entertainment Weekly. "This country is built on religious freedom. This is the kind of hate that tears the country apart."
"All-American Muslim" began last month on TLC, and airs at 10 p.m. on Sundays on the network.
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