Some advertisers are exiting a Fox News Channel show over controversial comments made by the host. The AP reports that Tucker Carlson is under fire after saying that immigrants could make the U.S. “poorer and dirtier.”
“So far, the show’s biggest advertisers appear to be sticking with him and his prime-time show, ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,'” the AP reports, adding that experts say the controversy is likely to blow over.
“Carlson said last Thursday that there’s pressure from ‘our leaders’ to accept immigrants ‘even if it makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.’ He added Monday that in the Southwest, ‘thanks to illegal immigration, huge swaths of the region are covered with garbage and waste that degrade the soil and kill wildlife,'” the AP reports.
The report adds: “The comments caused a furor on social media. Several advertisers, including the IHOP restaurant chain, personal finance website NerdWallet and Pacific Life insurance, have pulled advertising from the show. (NerdWallet is a content partner of The Associated Press.) SmileDirectClub said it is working with its ad buyers to stop running ads during any political opinion shows.”
Pacific Life is quoted saying on 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.”
The AP report adds: “IHOP spokeswoman Stephanie Peterson said the chain continually evaluates ad placements to make sure they align with the company’s values of ‘welcoming all folks from all backgrounds and beliefs.’ She said the company will continue to advertise on other Fox News programs.”
Fox News issued a statement saying that “left wing advocacy groups” were using social media to “stifle free speech,” adding that FNC “continues to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.”
The AP adds: “Later on Tuesday, Fox issued another statement saying it won’t allow Carlson to be ‘censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts.’ Fox added that all advertisers have switched their ads to other shows, so no revenue was lost.”
But according to The Hollywood Reporter, at least 16 companies had stopped advertising on Carlson’s program. The publication reported a list that includes CareerBuilder, Takeda Pharmaceuticals (makers of Entyvio), TD Ameritrade, IHOP, the United Explorer credit card, Just For Men, Jaguar Land Rover, Ancestry.com, SCOTTeVEST, Zenni Optical and Voya Financial along with Bowflex, SmileDirectClub, NerdWallet, Minted and Pacific Life.