Dec. 12, 2011 — -- Lowe's is facing heavy condemnation from all over the Internet, including celebrities who have taken to Twitter to denounce the home improvement company following its decision to pull its advertisements from a TLC show called "All-American Muslim."
Russell Simmons, the chairman for the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, has been vocal with numerous tweets regarding the issue.
In one tweet about Lowe's, he wrote, "U endorse hate. U may be held accountable we will promote a boycott if they don't reinstate campaign and apologise #allamericanmuslim."
"I will sic every civil rights agency on @lowes until they straighten this out," Simmons vowed.
The TLC reality show focuses on Muslim families in the greater Detroit area. Some groups have objected to the show, with the conservative Florida Family Association, which organized an email campaign aimed at Lowe's to drop the adds, calling it "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values."
"It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective," Lowe's said in a statement posted on its Facebook page, recognizing that "we've managed to make some people very unhappy."
Actress Mia Farrow got involved in the battle, writing, "Big effort on Twitter to hit Lowes where it hurts, Let's all #boycottLowes."
A MoveOn.org campaign with a goal of 10,000 signatures already had more than 7,700 signatures on Monday morning.
"Defend our American values: tell these companies to fight back against bigotry and fear-mongering by publicly repudiating calls to stop advertising during TLC's 'All-American Muslim,'" said the petition's description.
The petition is directed at the CEO's of dozens of companies including T-Mobile, Wal-Mart and Time Warner Cable and asks them to publicly reject requests to pull their ads from the show.
Lowe's said it received a lot of communication regarding the program that became a "lighting rod" for many different views and chose to pull its ads for that reason.
"We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance," the company said. "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."
The Facebook statement elicited nearly 10,000 replies as of Monday morning. The majority of the comments were negative.
"You caved to the demands of a handful of bigoted losers," wrote one critic. "You are an embarrassment. One can only wonder how this makes all the non-christians that work for you feel. And the non-bigots."
Many vowed never to shop at Lowe's again and called the company's behavior un-American. But not all of the comments were negative.
"I support your right to decide how you want to spend your advertizing money so I am going to your store and buy something, anything right now!!!!" wrote one supporter. "As a small business owner, I'm fed up with politicians and the media interfering with how we run our businesses!!"
The Florida Family Association group sent three email alerts in November to inform its members about "All-American Muslim," encouraging supporters to send an email to companies, asking that they pull their ads from the show.
The pre-written email had the subject line, "Please do not support TLC propaganda" and said, in part: "The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to the liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish."
"I'm saddened that any place of business would succumb to bigots and people trying to perpetuate their negative views on an entire community," Suehaila Amen, a judicial aide in Dearborn who is featured on the TLC show with her family, told The Detroit News on Sunday.
"This can happen to any member of a minority group," Amen said. "This country was not founded on hatred or racism. It was founded on inclusion and diversity."
Lowe's has not yet commented on whether or not it will reinstate its ads on the show.