Tucker Carlson, controversial Fox News prime time host, has lost seven more major advertisers after he made comments attacking the Black Lives Matter movement and warning that they were “coming for” his viewers.
Carlson has endured periods of losing advertisers since late 2018, as he has repeatedly made statements allegedly sympathetic to white nationalism and attacking minorities and immigrants.
As of Friday morning, T-Mobile, Disney, Papa John’s, Poshmark, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and Vari had quit advertising on Carlson’s show, with T-Mobile releasing a statement to Judd Legum’s Popular Information newsletter, saying they had cancelled all future ad placements on Carlson’s show and “will continue to support those who stand against racial injustice.”
Here’s what you need to know about Carlson and the latest advertiser exodus from his controversial show.
On His June 8 Show, Carlson Said Black Lives Matter Was ‘Definitely Not About Black Lives & Warned of A ‘Mob’ Coming To ‘Crush’ His Viewers
Carlson has been making offensive statements about race and immigrants since as early as 2004, when he hosted a show on PBS, according to the liberal watchdog organization Media Matters for America. MMFA documents and compiles clips of right-wing television and news personalities making allegedly bigoted statements, and puts pressure on advertisers to put their money elsewhere.
On June 8, Carlson took on Black Lives Matter and the nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody.
“No matter what they tell you, it has very little to do with black lives — if only it did,” Carlson said, later adding, “And remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will … If you show weakness of any kind, they will crush you.”
The full segment can be viewed here.
The comments were just the latest of Carlson’s attacks on protests against police brutality and Black Lives Matter. In late May, he labeled the protests riots and a “form of tyranny.”
When outrage arose, Fox News stepped in and alleged that Carlson was talking about Democratic politicians — not protesters, the New York Times reported.
Throughout This Week, Advertisers Began Dropping Carlson’s Show From Their Budgets As His Comments Drew Wide Outrage. As of Friday, Seven Major Advertisers Have Ceased Buying Time on The Show
T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert kicked off the latest exodus of advertisers from Carlson’s program with a Tweet Tuesday, proclaiming, “Bye-bye Tucker Carlson.”
Papa John’s next T-Mobile in quitting advertising on the show, and then the other five companies, CNN reported. Although Carlson’s show is among the highest-rated shows on cable, according to CNN, it has become toxic for advertisers since 2018, when Carlson claimed that immigrants were making the country “poorer and dirtier.”
Fox News leadership told the Times that this week’s advertising boycotts were not affecting the network: The same companies’ spots would simply move to other programs on Fox.
After Advertisers Began To Flee, #IStandWithTuckerCarlson Started Trending — Though It Is Often Being Used To Mock Carlson
As of Friday afternoon, nearly 45,000 Tweets have popped up with the hashtag “IStandWithTuckerCarlson.”
The conservative nonprofit PragerU, which features Carlson on its website as a presenter, Tweeted the hashtag along with a Carlson-narrated, PragerU-produced video claiming that illegal immigration is “all about power.”
Other conservative figures shared their support, alleging that the “mob” will eventually come for anyone who shares Carlson’s beliefs and, in one case, that Carlson “causes the right butts to hurt.” Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz also Tweeted his support.
A large percentage of the Tweets using the hashtag, however, were decidedly not in favor of Carlson’s rhetoric.
The satiric Democratic People’s Republic of Korea account Tweeted its “support” for Carlson and what he represents, along with an image that appeared to have been taken at the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally.
In a similar vein, another account Tweeted the hashtag, accompanied by a photo of Ku Klux Klansmen marching in Washington, D.C., in 1925.
Fox News has taken in about 7 percent less ad revenue than the same time last year — although that’s still $1.16 billion in revenue, Variety reported. Carlson’s show has actually taken in more ad revenue in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the year before, the outlet added.
A spokesperson for Fox News told Heavy on Friday that the boycotts have not affected the network’s bottom line.
“FOX News confirmed all national ads and revenue from Carlson’s show have moved to other programs and FOX News hasn’t lost any revenue overall,” they said.