Russell Simmons has offered to purchase the remaining advertising spots for an upcoming episode of “All American Muslim,” after home improvement store Lowe’s pulled its sponsorship of the TLC show.
“Just purchased remaining spots for [‘All American Muslim’] for next week,” the mogul tweeted Monday. “The show is now sold out! keep your money [Lowe’s] and we will keep ours.”
Simmons, who would advertise his prepaid Visa Rush Card with the ad time, later tweeted he was told the spots were sold out: “I'm trying to buy ads during [‘All American Muslim’] airing this Sunday, but now they are saying they are sold out. I will keep trying...”
A rep for TLC confirmed to Celebritology that Simmons did offer to purchase ad time, but said it wasn’t immediately clear if they was any available. Request for comment from UniRush, Simmons’ financial services company, has not been returned.
Lowe’s pulled its sponsorship from “All American Muslim” after receiving complaints from groups including the Florida Family Association, which objected to the TLC show’s positive portrayal of the five Muslim families it follows, as the Post’s Paul Farhi reported. The company claims that “dozens of companies” have also pulled their ads, but apologized to anyone offended by the decision: “We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.”
The Florida Family Association has since shut down most of its Web site, claiming it was vulnerable to hackers.
Simmons called Lowe’s actions “Islamophobic,” telling Entertainment Weekly, “This can’t happen in America; [Lowe's] needs to fix this immediately.”
Along with Simmons, actors Kal Penn and Mia Farrow have condemned Lowe’s on Twitter. Penn and Simmons have asked their Twitter followers to boycott the store and to sign a petition that calls for the show’s current sponsors to continue advertising. It has been signed by more than 20,000 people.
This post has been updated.