Home improvement retail giant Lowe's has pulled all their advertising from TLC's new reality show All-American Muslim after an extreme right wing Christian group protested their sponsorship -- and now Russell Simmons is crying foul.
Calling the move "Islamaphobic," Simmons told Entertainment Weekly, "This can't happen in America; (Lowe's) needs to fix this immediately."
"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, whose hip-hop group Run DMC is credited with bringing the musical genre into the mainstream and founded Def Jam Records, also heads the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding -- and he says Lowe's does not want him to use his powerful position to cost them business.
"If I go to work on this," Simmons told EW, "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."
Lowe's is standing by their decision to pull the ads, saying that it wasn't just the Christian group's influence that made their decision.
"The program raised concerns, complaints or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show," a rep for the chain said in a statement. "We based our decision to pull the advertising on this research and after hearing the concerns we received through emails, calls, through social media and in news reports. It is certainly never Lowe's intent to alienate anyone. Lowe's values diversity of thought."
But Simmons says that's bull -- and nothing but hate.
"This is a press nightmare for them," Simmons said. "This country is built on religious freedom. This is the kind of hate that tears this country apart."
Image courtesy Bizu/WENN.com
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