As it turns out, Lowes may have some hell to pay behind their decision to revoke advertising from TLC show All-American Muslim – and Russell Simmons appears to be leading the charge. The hip hop magnate and chairman for the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding Russell told Entertainment Weekly, “This can’t happen in America; (Lowe’s) needs to fix this immediately,” Simmons stated, declaring Islamophobia is at play. “They can’t get away with that, it’s ridiculous. There are American principles at stake here. I can’t imagine the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, the National Urban League or any organization that fights for their own rights will allow this to happen to any other group because they know they’re next.”
Simmons makes no bones of his outrage for Lowe’s actions, which appear to be prompted by a “Christian” conservative group who felt the new reality show that depicts the daily life of Muslim Families in Dearborn, MI would encourage Americans to “ignore the threat of jihad.”
The hip-hop tycoon called Lowe’s choice to pander to such fear-mongering “a stupid thing to do” and is prepared to counteract their decision. “If I go to work on this,” Simmons told Entertainment Weekly, “they’re not even going to believe it. This is not going to be a Muslim fight. I don’t want to take my time and start a boycott; don’t make me do that.”
And it looks like Simmons is prepared to put his money where his mouth is. Yesterday he announced via Twitter that he bought up the remaining ad spots, two 30-second ads, for the reality show Islam-centric reality show: ‘Just purchased remaining spots for #allamericanmuslim for next week,’ Mr. Simmons said. ‘The show is now sold out! keep your money @lowes and we will keep ours.’ ‘U endorse hate. U may be held accountable we will promote a boycott if they don’t reinstate campaign and apologize [sic],’ his tweet continued.
‘Repudiate Calls to Stop Advertising on TLC’s ‘All-American Muslims’ is an online petition directed to a number of companies and CEOS including Clinique, John Frieda Haircare, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, PetSmart, Amway, JPMorgan Chase, T-Mobile, Home Depot, Time Warner Cable and Pro-Active, had collected 14.5 thousand signatures by Monday night, the Daily Mail reports. Actress Mia Farrow also took up the fight, and Tweeted: ‘Big effort on Twitter to hit Lowes where it hurts, Let’s all #boycottLowes.’
NY Daily News states that a spokesperson for TLC avoided discussing Lowe’s & Simmons’ decisions and simply issued the following statement: “We stand behind the show ‘All-American Muslim’ and we’re happy the show has strong advertising support.” But as far as Russell Simmons is concerned, Lowe’s actions were a dire mistake with major cultural implications, “This is a press nightmare for them,” he claimed. “This country is built on religious freedom. This is the kind of hate that tears this country apart.”