Tucker Carlson Dropped by at Least 26 Advertisers Over Immigration Comments

Norwegian Cruise Line, Farmers Insurance Lexus, cold weather accessory supplier Totes Isotoner and Graze, a healthy snack company, become the latest to pull their ads from Fox News show

Last Updated: January 9, 2019 @ 1:18 PM

At least 26 advertisers have pulled their ads from Tucker Carlson’s primetime Fox News show following the host’s Dec. 13  comments in which he said that immigrants to the United States made the country “poorer” and “dirtier.”

On Wednesday Norwegian Cruise Line told TheWrap in a statement: “Our ads will no longer appear during that program.”

The announcement came just hours after Red Lobster said it too was pulling its ads from the show.

“Red Lobster’s advertising buying guidelines reflect our core values and commitment to supporting programming that represents the highest standards of good taste, fair practice and objectivity,” the company said in a statement to TheWrap on Tuesday. “We reserve the right to make changes to our purchases when the dialogue is no longer in line with our criteria.”

Red Lobster and Norwegian join Farmers joins Lexus, Totes Isotoner, Graze, SanDisk, Pfizer, Takeda, CareerBuilder, TD Ameritrade, ScotteVest, United Explorer, Just for Men, Voya, Zenni Optical, IHOP, Jaguar, Pacific Life, Indeed, Bowflex, SmileDirectClub, NerdWallet, Minted, Ancestry and SodaStream, all of which have said they would no longer sponsor the show.

Samsung, Mint Mobile and Leesa, a luxury mattress firm, have also pulled their ads from the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Think Progress reported last Friday that DNA testing company, 23 and Me, announced it too was severing ties with the program. Reps for all four companies did not respond to TheWrap’s multiple requests for comment.

While the advertiser’s boycott has slowed down substantially since mid-December when the first sponsors began fleeing the show, it has not ended.

Just 10 days after announcing it would continue to advertise on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Farmers Insurance announced last week it too was joining  the boycott.

“Advertising decisions made by Farmers should not be construed to be an endorsement of any kind as to a show’s content or the individuals appearing on the show,” a spokesperson for the company told TheWrap in a statement Friday, “however, we have halted advertising on Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

A spokesperson for Lexus, a luxury division of Japanese carmaker Toyota, told TheWrap in a statement: “Toyota and Lexus have suspended all advertising on this particular program until further notice.”

Meanwhile, Totes Isotoner, whose ad was featured on Carlson’s last week, said the company was blindsided by its inclusion in the program’s commercial break, telling TheWrap in a statement that it “does not support the statements of Tucker Carlson. When we became aware of this placement, we pulled our advertising from this program immediately.”

Harris Teeter a North Carolina-based supermarket chain, replying to a Twitter user, also seemed to be surprised by its inclusion, responding to a Twitter user, the company said: “Harris Teeter doesn’t purchase advertising during this show, sometimes cable companies place ads to fill time. We were unaware and have reached out and asked that Harris Teeter ads not run during this time in the future!”

Earlier in the day, Graze said it asked its “advertising partner to avoid this show in future as it goes against our brand values,” in a statement on Twitter.

SanDisk parent company Western Digital told TheWrap it too was severing ties with Carlson.

A rep for the company said in a statement: “Western Digital is a global company with employees, customers, and partners from many countries. We embrace diversity and inclusion, and work with advertising partners who share our core values.”

In a tweet, SodaStream said that the company had “asked Fox to remove us from the time slot.” Meanwhile, Pfizer told TheWrap in a statement: “We are no longer advertising on the program.”

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company told TheWrap: “We have pulled our advertising off of Tucker Carlson’s show.”

During his show last week, Carlson addressed the growing boycott campaign against his sponsors over his on-air remarks about immigration, telling viewers that he would not be intimidated.

“You’ve seen it a million times, it happens all the time,” he said. “The enforcers scream ‘racist’ on Twitter, until everyone gets intimidated and changes the subject to the Russia investigation or some other distraction. It’s a tactic, a well worn one. And it won’t work with the show, we’re not intimidated. We plan to say what’s true until the last day.”

The pressure, however, has only grown with each defection, as liberal pressure groups like Media Matters for America and Sleeping Giants have kept up the pressure on Twitter.

“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.”

Activists like Jordan Uhl and Judd Legum posted real-time updates to their massive followings of companies whose ads appeared on Monday night’s show.

“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.

The statement continued: “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 flap began when Carlson remarked 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.

“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 said Monday it has stopped advertising on Carlson’s show and has “no plans to advertise on this program in the future.”

Indeed responded in messages to several Twitter users that the company hadn’t run ads on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” for “over a month now.”

CareerBuilder has permanently pulled its ads from Carlson’s show as well as other unnamed Fox News programming. “Our purpose at CareerBuilder is to help people build a life that works. Not some people. All people,” the company said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “People looking for jobs. And people looking to hire people who are looking for jobs. Which is why, last Friday, we permanently suspended advertising on some Fox programming, including Tucker Carlson Tonight. We will continue to advertise on programs that align with who we are and what we value.”

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.”

Others have taken a wait and see approach. A rep for GMC told TheWrap the car company is “monitoring the situation.”

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca told TheWrap that “as a standard practice, we regularly monitor our media programming to ensure its aligned to our corporate values. As such, we will continue to assess our advertising purchases regarding the heightened attention surrounding this matter.”

A spokesperson for tool company Dremel, whose ad ran on Carlson’s show Wednesday night, told TheWrap that “Dremel did not purchase ads for any certain timeslot. This ad ran as part of a bulk ad purchase.”

Infiniti USA, Red Lobster, 4Ocean and OxiClean and Sony Pictures declined to comment.