Calls to #BoycottABC and #BoycottSinclair lit up Twitter after a political attack ad targeting congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aired on a Washington, D.C.-area ABC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group during the third Democratic debate Thursday night.
Scott Dworkin, the founder of the Democratic Coalition who was one of the first to share the clip online Thursday, was one of numerous political figures using the #BoycottABC hashtag on Friday.
Christine Pelosi tweeted, “America slammed you @ABCNetwork for running a Pro-Trump ad with an image of a Congresswoman’s face burning. #BoycottABC.”
Other participants in the trend pointed out that the ABC affiliate in question, Washington, D.C.’s WJLA-TV, is owned by Sinclair and suggested readers look into which local stations in their own areas are owned by Sinclair if they plan to do a real boycott.
The ad, created by a Republican PAC called New Faces GOP, showed a photograph of Ocasio-Cortez that begins to burn, followed by graphic photographs purported to be from the Cambodian genocide under the dictatorship of Pol Pot. It’s narrated by Elizabeth Heng, a former California Republican congressional candidate, who calls Ocasio-Cortez “the face of socialism, and ignorance,” and says “mine is a face of freedom. My skin is not white. I’m not outrageous, racist, nor socialist. I’m a Republican.”
Representatives for Sinclair and ABC did not immediately return requests for comment. In the time it took to reach out to them, the #BoycottABC trend climbed from the fourth most-tweeted in the United States to the third.