Advertisers abandon Fox News host Tucker Carlson's show over anti-immigration comments
Posted December 18, 2018 3:04 p.m. EST
Updated December 18, 2018 3:37 p.m. EST
(CNN) — Nine companies have announced they will either pull or suspend their advertising from Tucker Carlson's Fox News show over comments about immigration he made last week.
Land Rover, IHOP, Ancestry.com, Just For Men, Minted, Smile Direct, Pacific Life, ScotteVest, and Zenni have all released statements saying that they would no longer advertise on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." Liberal activists have been pressuring companies to abandon Carlson's program.
Carlson made the comments that led to the advertisers' decisions on Thursday night, when he said on his show that mass-immigration "makes our country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided." After an initial backlash that included at least three advertisers pulling their commercials, Carlson defended those comments on his show Monday night, showing images of trash left at the US-Mexico border and arguing that "huge swaths of the region are covered with garbage and waste" left behind by immigrants "that degrade the soil and kill wildlife."
Carlson said on his program Monday night that "the left" wants him to "shut up," but that he would not because he was "not intimidated."
Reached for comment on Tuesday, a Fox News spokesperson said that all of the advertisers were moving their commercials to other shows on the network and that as a result no revenue had been lost.
The Fox News spokesperson also pointed to a previous statement from a network representative who said, "It is a shame that left wing advocacy groups, under the guise of being supposed 'media watchdogs' weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech. We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions."
Some companies have released statements suggesting that they would continue to run advertisements on the program.
Last year, a similar advertiser backlash hit Carlson's predecessor on Fox News' 8 p.m. hour, Bill O'Reilly, after a New York Times report about settlements with women who alleged either sexual harassment or verbal abuse by O'Reilly. The number of advertisers pulling their commercials eventually grew to at least 60, and O'Reilly was eventually pushed out of Fox.