Religious pressure groups typically have issues with TV images or words of titillation: too much sex, too much violence, too many anti-conservative values.
Now the Florida Family Association claims TLC’s "All-American Muslim" is -- for lack of a better word -- too ordinary. This reality series focuses on five Muslim-American families going about their lives in Dearborn, Mich.
The pressure group claims those who practice Islam are promoting a specific "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values." The pressure pushed the national Lowe's home improvement chain to pull its advertising because the show was "controversial."
We might more easily understand if Lowe's was pressured to pull out because of skimpily dressed, foul-mouthed women or men who didn't live up to specific "values."
Instead, a reactionary move occurred.
I'm guessing that those who control the company’s media decisions got a bit turned around. There was no controversy about the series content, but about what wasn't there.
A key word in the pressure group’s complaint was “hides.” Did the group refer to something I didn't see on TV? I'm guessing a reality series about Al-Qaeda members only doing domestic chores -- washing their clothes, eating breakfast, watching a movie, and nothing else -- would raise some questions.
Pressure groups probably also don't like "Jersey Shore." I'm guessing rough content is not hidden there.
The Florida Family Association claims more than 60 advertisers -- from Amazon to McDonald’s -- have stopped advertising on “All-American Muslim.” But the group does not have any insider knowledge here. And it obviously doesn't know anything about Media 101: Not all advertisers necessarily buy all episodes of a TV series.
Here is part of Lowe's statement: "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."
Of course, the key words there are “some people.” A national chain such as Lowe's needs to worry about most people, or lots of people. Perhaps some people are pissed that Lowe's also buy into some weekend sports programming.
I would be more convinced of the company’s motives if it was leaving the show because it was boring -- namely, that a reality show about American families with a strong religious commitment was dullsville, not worthy of its marketing dollars