I won’t be shopping at Lowes. We do have one here. At first, it was ok, boycott. Now it is off my list. Done.

I watch Aljazeera, I watch The Stream. I’ve heard of All American Muslim and it was all over Twitter. People talking about how good it was, people talking about how bad it was. People were talking about it. More seemed to like it than hate it, so I watched one episode, even though it isn’t the type of show I watch. I can’t be bothered watching people living their lives on tv. Not people with a bunch of kids, or people with a bunch of wives, rich wives, party wives, people who used to be famous.. UGH.. put em on an island and let them fight. That I will watch.

Anyway, the show wasn’t my thing, but there was nothing questionable about it. The people who didn’t like it seemed to be complaining that it didn’t represent them. It’s twitter, complete thoughts don’t tend to happen, but I am pretty sure the people who live in Jersey Shore feel the same. Probably more so.

This is really a disgusting mess. I had heard on twitter that there was a group trying to get advertisers to pull.. I facepalmed and kept going. Then a tweet from @hindmakki came through that Lowes had pulled their ads because of it. I checked their twitter and they were replying to people who were thanking them for pulling the ads. I checked their facebook page and people were thanking them there too. I was disgusted.

Then this popped up:

The first night it seemed to be mostly Muslims freaking out. The next day it was everyone. Twitter was flooded with people angered about it. The “thanks for standing up for America” disgusting tweets were finally overwhelmed by outrage. I felt better. This isn’t cool.

Now we have this:

This alone is enough to make me never want to shop at Lowes. This comment thread is the most vile thing I have read. THIS is the problem. There are people who are outraged that Lowes gave in to the emails and there are bigots cheering the decision and filling the comments section with hate and outright lies. When you decide that this is the public stance (never mind the things that happen in your head) and THIS is what your policies promote, there is a problem. As a human being, I can’t support this. This is disgusting and I don’t care what they do NOW. I am done with them forever.

This is not how you handle PR. At first I thought this was just a stupid social media person, however, when you read the articles on this, the statements from Lowes are saying the same thing.

When you think this is ok,

Or this:

And I sit here, in Canada and watch shit like this:

Lorne Gunter: Time to crack down on fraudulent immigrants

Anyway, All American Muslim was on The Stream, the episode is here:

Articles on the Lowes ‘situation’

Sen. Ted Lieu today calls on CEO of Lowe’s home-improvement chain to apologize to American Muslims for ‘bigoted, shameful’ actions

American Companies Accused of Joining the All-American Anti-Muslim Bandwagon

‘All-American Muslim,’ business and bigotry: Lowe’s pulls advertisements from TLC series (column)

Russell Simmons blasts Lowe’s for pulling Muslim show ads: ‘This can’t happen in America’ — EXCLUSIVE

Now I want to see statements from every other company that supposedly pulled their ads after these emails. Will they do better? Until they explain, I am boycotting them too. We will see if it is just until they explain or forever like Lowes. And I do not think they should put the ads back on. That seems.. disingenuous. What I want to see is how they are going to help fix this bigotry issue which is rearing itss ugly head right now.

And of course the site that sent the emails :/

TLC’s “All-American Muslim” is propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda. Please send your email to advertisers.

UPDATE to add the statement from KAYAK (no idea who the hell Kayak is.. but whatever.. not great but not as shitty as Lowes’)

We Handled This Poorly
We would like to apologize to anyone who was offended by how we handled our decision not to continue advertising on All-American Muslim when it returns in January. We decided to advertise on it in the first place because we adamantly support tolerance and diversity. Our 150-person team includes people from all over the world, and from all walks of life. Our team includes people who are descended from early Europeans who came here escaping religious intolerance, and newer Americans who include many religions. We get what America is about.

For the record, we didn’t “pull” our ads. Our ads kept running on this program, but we have made the decision not to give TLC more money when the show returns in January.

Unfortunately, this decision comes across as bending to bigotry. It also appears that we did not support people who deserve support as people and as Americans. For that, I am profoundly sorry.

I should have communicated more clearly. We would not want anyone to think that we caved to hatred. I wish I could share some of the emails I’ve received from our team. They are also very unhappy with how I handled this.

Please allow me to explain the decision. First, our approach to advertising decisions is to choose advertising based on who watches it, not the political leaning of the program.

When we decided to give our money to TLC for this program, we deemed the show a worthy topic. When we received angry emails regarding our decision to advertise, I looked into the show more thoroughly.

The first thing I discovered was that TLC was not upfront with us about the nature of this show. As I said, it’s a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions. That’s not a business practice that generally gets repeat business from us. I also believe that it did this subject a grave disservice. Sadly, TLC is now enjoying the attention from this controversy.

I then checked the Florida Family Association website to see how this was portrayed. Besides the regrettable hatred, I also noticed that we weren’t listed. The email was a template, so people who sent thousands of emails seemed to be unaware they were sending it to us. The amount of vitriol in the emails was saddening, but I didn’t exactly feel pressured (not to mention we wouldn’t bend to such pressure). Many of the emails I’ve received expressing disappointment in our decision have been much more civil, and I applaud you for that.

Lastly, I watched the first two episodes. Mostly, I just thought the show sucked.

Based on our dealings with TLC and the simple assessment of the show, I decided we should put our money elsewhere. Apologies again.

– Robert Birge, KAYAK Chief Marketing Officer


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