Fox News host Tucker Carlson continues to lose advertisers following comments he made on air last week that allowing certain immigrants to enter the United States “makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”
As of Wednesday evening, at least 20 companies had announced they would stop airing ads on Carlson’s highly rated Fox News show, Tucker Carlson Tonight. The companies — which include Bowflex, IHOP and TD Ameritrade — have pulled their advertisements following a segment that aired last Thursday.
A video clip of the segment, shared on Twitter by Progressive Activist Jordan Uhl, has been viewed more than one million times.
Pacific Life Insurance, which had sponsored the segment but is now pulling its ads, said in a statement, “As a company, we strongly disagree with Mr. Carlson’s statements.”
Other companies made similar comments.
“Western Digital is a global company with employees, customers, and partners from many countries," Western Digital, the parent company of SanDisk, wrote in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "We embrace diversity and inclusion, and work with advertising partners who share our core values.”
A Fox News spokesperson said some companies, such as Farmers Insurance, Bayer, Mitsubishi, John Deere, AstraZeneca, My Pillow, and Gold Bond parent company Sanofi are keeping their ads on Carlson’s program.
“Our strategic marketing intent is to share our key product news with consumers through a variety of media channels," Mitsubishi said in a statement. "We will monitor the situation and adjust our advertising if necessary.”
In a statement, Fox News called out left-leaning outlets like MoveOn.org, Media Matters, and Sleeping Giants for pushing what it described as an “agenda-driven intimidation effort.” The network also drew comparisons between advocates calling for advertisers to boycott the show with self-described Antifa protesters who targeted Carlson’s home in Northwest D.C., reportedly damaging his front door.
“While we do not advocate boycotts, these same groups never target other broadcasters and operate under a grossly hypocritical double standard given their intolerance to all opposing points of view,” Fox News said in the statement.
“Don’t let Fox News distract, deflect, or deceive,” Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said in a statement. “This isn’t about Media Matters, Sleeping Giants, or activists. No one forced Tucker Carlson’s odious bigotry and fixation on white genocide conspiracy theories. And that’s what advertisers are rejecting. Rightfully so, too.”
It’s unclear if Fox News is losing any money from the ad boycott of Carlson’s show. A Fox News spokeswoman said no revenue has been lost, and all of the advertisers had moved their commercials and ad dollars to other shows on the network.
On Monday night, Carlson defended his controversial comments on immigration, telling viewers “the left” wants to shut him up, but that he refused to be intimidated by “enforcers” on Twitter.
"It won’t work with this show," Carlson said. "We’re not intimidated. We plan to try to say what’s true until the last day."
This isn’t the first Fox News show abandoned by advertisers. Back in April, Laura Ingraham shed advertisers after comments she made on Twitter about David Hogg, one of the teenage survivors of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and an outspoken supporter of stricter gun control.
Advertisers also briefly boycotted Sean Hannity’s show in November 2017, after the popular Fox News host defended failed Alabama Republican senate candidate Roy Moore against allegations of sexual misconduct. Hannity eventually apologized to viewers after it appeared he referred to the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old as “consensual” on his radio show.
"That one line was absolutely wrong," Hannity said. "I misspoke."
Bill O’Reilly also faced an advertiser boycott in April 2017, after the New York Times revealed that five former Fox News personalities were paid $13 million as part of settlements involving harassment claims against O’Reilly. He took an abrupt vacation during the boycott, and was subsequently forced out by the network.