Russell Simmons Offers To Buy Up All The Remaining Ad Time For TLC’s All-American Muslim
Now that is putting your money where your mouth is. Yesterday, Russell Simmons had spoken out on the cowardly companies like Lowe’s who had buckled to extremist conservative pressure to stop advertising on TLC’s All-American Muslim, a show that dared (DARED!) to show Muslim Americans who weren’t crazed terrorists bathing in the blood of Christians or something. Furious at the seeming victory of bigotry, Simmons did what any person with integrity, passion, and an absolutely insane amount of money would do; he offered to buy up all the now-vacant ad space himself.
Simmons, despite being in Australia when the news of the advertiser pull-out hit, had made his feelings on the matter clear as soon as possible:
“This can’t happen in America; [Lowe’s] needs to fix this immediately,” Simmons said, calling the move Islamophobic. “They can’t get away with that, it’s ridiculous. There are American principals 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.”
It was perhaps at that point that Simmons remembered that he’s the head of a group like that. That’s right, Simmons is the chairman of the Simmons tweeted this:
Simmons would use the ad space to advertise his pre-paid Visa Rush Card.
It’s all pretty depressing, right? It’s a sad day when money, not common sense or ideals, is all that keeps our nation’s companies and corporations from falling to the support of bigotry. The anti-Muslim, anti-gay group Florida Family Association threatened Lowe’s with a boycott and they instantly crumbled requiring Simmons to spend his money to help keep the show alive. Wouldn’t it be nice if, no matter how much money was at stake, people just kind of knew that, in the year 2011, mass bigotry is wrong?
Well, there’s a bright spot. It turns out that, when Lowe’s dropped out, there were other companies willing to take its place. Despite Simmons’ bravado and certainty in that first tweet, it turns out that he and his Rush Card are now having to fight to purchase the spots.
All those corporations rushing in to do the right thing, It’s like the end of It’s a Wonderful Life when everyone helps pay back the lost money. Of course, the cynic in me thinks it’s probably more likely that those companies have thought of the only thing more powerful than special interest group pressure; a huge controversy giving a new show more exposure than it could possibly dream of. Still, it’s more fun to look on the bright side. It appears, this time at least, hate has failed.
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