Fox News says it will continue to stand by Tucker Carlson amid a growing advertisers’ boycott, after the host said last week that immigrants to the United States make the country “poorer” and “dirtier.”
“We cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts from the likes of Moveon.org, Media Matters and Sleeping Giants,” a spokesperson for Fox News told TheWrap in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Attempts were made last month to bully and terrorize Tucker and his family at their home. He is now once again being threatened via Twitter by far left activist groups with deeply political motives. 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.”
The statement seemed to echo the network’s Monday statement, which blamed the boycott on “left-wing advocacy groups.”
“We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions,” a network rep said.
But neither statement seems to have stopped the advertiser hemorrhage.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of companies severing their ties with the show reached 14. Just For Men, United Explorer credit card, ScotteVest, Voya Financial, Zenni Optical, Pacific Life, Indeed, Bowflex, SmileDirectClub, NerdWallet, Minted, Ancestry.com, IHOP and Jaguar have all told TheWrap they plan to suspend advertising on the program.
The flap began when Carlson remarked on Thursday night that immigrants have made the United States “poorer and dirtier and more divided.”
Since then, he’s lost some of his biggest advertisers — starting with insurance giant Pacific Life on Friday. “One of our ads appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show last night following a segment where Mr. Carlson made a number of statements regarding immigration,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter Friday afternoon.
“As a company, we strongly disagree with Mr. Carlson’s statements. Our customer base and our workforce reflect the diversity of our great nation, something we take great pride in. We will not be advertising on Mr. Carlson’s show in the coming week as we reevaluate our relationship with his program.”
The boycott metastasized from there.
“We are actively working with our media buyers to confirm that SmileDirectClub is no longer running our ads around any political opinion shows,” the company told TheWrap on Monday.
Employment giant Indeed began telling customers on Twitter that they, too, hard-dropped Carlson more than a month ago, with digital retailer Minted also taking the same approach Monday and Tuesday as well.
“We have stopped all advertising with Tucker Carlson,” a spokesperson for Ancestry.com said.
Not all advertisers are pulling the plug. MyPillow inventor and CEO Mike Lindell told TheWrap in a statement Tuesday: “I am not changing my advertising. I make all of my advertising decisions based on what is best for MyPillow, my customers and my employees.”
A spokesperson for AstraZeneca told TheWrap that the “content and opinions of the outlets, networks or websites for which we advertise are not reflective of our views or values as a company. However, as a standard practice, we regularly monitor our media programming to ensure its [sic] aligned to our corporate values. As such, we will continue to assess our advertising purchases regarding the heightened attention surrounding this matter.”
Infiniti USA declined to comment.