Tucker Carlson Loses Red Lobster as Sponsor After Comments About Immigrants, Women’s Pay

Red Lobster says it reserves the right to pull ads from any program “when the dialogue is no longer in line” with the company’s core values

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 @ 10:09 AM

Tucker Carlson has lost another advertiser: seafood chain Red Lobster confirmed to TheWrap that it will drop the primetime Fox News program.

“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. We reserve the right to make changes to our purchases when the dialogue is no longer in line with our criteria,” the company said in a statement to TheWrap on Tuesday.

Online activists started an advertiser boycott last December when Carlson said illegal immigrants made the United States “poorer” and “dirtier,” and the show has since lost at least 25 sponsors. The program has run with fewer commercials in recent weeks.

A spokesperson for Red Lobster declined to say what exactly Carlson said that might have precipitated the decision. The restaurant had stuck by him during the immigration outrage.

But last week, Carlson argued that a host of social ills are caused by women earning more than men.

Liberal activist Judd Legum and others flagged Carlson’s comments about women to Red Lobster president Salli Setta and tagged the Women’s Foodservice Forum, of which she is a board member.

“Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don’t want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them but they don’t,” Carlson said. “Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out of wedlock births and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow, more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarcerations rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.”

The decision by Red Lobster is significant as it likely reflects the first known advertiser to drop Carlson over an issue other than his immigration flap and potentially opens a new front in the effort to pressure his sponsors off the show.

A rep for Fox News referred TheWrap to a previous statement in which the network vowed to stand by Carlson:

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. 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.