NBCUniversal, Fox News Pull Trump Campaign’s ‘Insensitive’ Immigration Ad After Backlash

Facebook also pulled commercial that ran during TV’s top show, “Sunday Night Football”

Last Updated: November 5, 2018 @ 11:37 AM

NBCUniversal, Fox News and Facebook have decided to pull a controversial immigration-themed ad from the Donald Trump campaign after a wave of criticism.

“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” NBCU said in a statement. The ad ran during Sunday night’s Green Bay Packers-New England Patriots NFL game, ahead of Tuesday’s midterms elections.

The 30-second spot alluded to the caravan of Central American migrants that is making its way towards the U.S.-Mexico boarder. It also references Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of murdering two sheriff’s deputies in California in 2014, tying him to the thousands of migrants that are fleeing Central America.

Fox News also opted to pull the ad. “Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either FOX News Channel or FOX Business Network,” said Marianne Gambelli, president, ad sales, in a statement.

Facebook soon followed suit on Monday, pulling the ad from its site.

This ad violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it,” A Facebook spokesperson told TheWrap. “While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution.”

Facebook’s policy against sensational content bars advertisers from showing images that “may shock or scare viewers,” images that are “scary, gory or sensational,” or ads “depicting violence or threats of violence.”

The caravan is still hundreds of miles away of the U.S.-Mexico border, currently somewhere near Mexico City according to the Washington Post. The ad plays up the “threat” of immigrants coming into the U.S., which Trump has made a major part of his campaign speeches ahead of Tuesday.

Hollywood stars including Judd Apatow and Debra Messing criticized the network’s decision to air the ad.

Messing, who stars on NBC’s “Will & Grace,” wrote: “To our @willandgrace fans–I want you to know that I am ashamed that my network aired this disgusting racist ad. It is the antithesis of everything I personally believe in, and what, I believe, our show is all about. @nbc”

“So @nbc and @Comcast aired that racist Trump caravan commercial during the football game,” wrote Apatow. “Who made that decision? How did they decide it was ok? I am disgusted that you would air that after @cnn refused to air it because it is explicitly racist. Shame on you. @NBCNews”

The ad was previously deemed too racist for CNN to air, which the network said on its official public relations Twitter account on Friday. “CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts.”