Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Loses More Advertisers
On Monday's Prime Time show, Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson questioned the reasons for the global unrest caused by the police assassination of George Floyd last month in Minneapolis.
"This can be a lot of things at the moment we're going through," said Carlson. "But it's definitely not about black lives, and remember when they come for you. And at that speed, they will. "
Since he made these and other statements, prominent companies such as The Walt Disney Co., Papa Johns, Poshmark and T-Mobile have distanced themselves from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" and joined other companies that have been away from the show in recent years have withdrawn.
The advertisers' flight accelerated on Tuesday when the watchdog group Sleeping Giants T-Mobile wrote in a Twitter post that Fox News had broadcast an "extremely racist segment that is afraid of the black community".
The telecommunications giant replied on Twitter that its ads had not appeared on the show since the beginning of May and would no longer appear in the future. Mike Sievert, Managing Director of T-Mobile, added his own contribution: "Bye, Tucker Carlson!"
Fox News said Carlson was referring to democratic leaders, not demonstrators, when he said "them" in his remarks on the program on Monday night.
"No matter what they tell you, it has very little to do with black lives," Carlson had said. "If only it were."
Advertisers' rejection of the show picked up steam on Wednesday after the Popular Information newsletter highlighted that Disney had advertised Carlson's program 29 times this year. The entertainment giant replied that he asked the third-party media agency that ran the ads for Disney's ABC network to put this on the show.
Papa Johns, a pizza chain that was the center of a riot in 2018 about a racial fraud used by its founder, also resigned from Carlson. The company said that the Havas media agency had made a general purchase for advertising space in several cable news networks and left the positioning of the spots to the networks.
Papa Johns only started advertising on cable after the pandemic began, as live sports and other content disappeared. Ads have appeared on "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC and "CNN Tonight With Don Lemon".
Following Carlson's comments, Papa Johns said in a statement that spending on public opinion will be halted, noting that "placement of advertising is not intended to be a confirmation of any particular programming or comment."
Steven Tristan Young, Poshmark's chief marketing officer, said in a statement on Thursday that the e-commerce company stopped advertising "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on June 2.
"We disagree with the comments he made on his show and are in solidarity with those who want to promote racial justice and equality," said Young.
Companies are trying to be particularly sensitive to nationwide race billing. Many, including Disney, T-Mobile, Poshmark and Papa John, have posted social media messages to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Others have done less advertising in the past few weeks.
Carlson has spoken harshly about the riots and called for a crackdown on protests. In a segment released on YouTube on June 1, preceded by an indication that it might be "inappropriate or offensive" to some viewers, he accused Vice President Mike Pence of "berating America for its racism," and President Donald Trump said, "People will not forgive weakness."
Fox News said that the advertisers' exits did not have a financial impact on the network as a whole, and found that the commercials that had been nationally featured on Tucker Carlson Tonight had switched to other programs on the network.
On Thursday evening, a hashtag campaign - #IStandWithTucker - was launched on Twitter, which fans attached to support messages for the host. When the phrase was added to the platform's list of trending topics, Carlson's critics tweeted insults at the host and network on which he worked while using the same hashtag.
Carlson, who recently sold his stake in the conservative website The Daily Caller, has lost large advertisers in recent years. Dozens of companies, including Pacific Life, Farmers Insurance, and IHOP, have distanced themselves after commenting on the predominance of whites, immigrants, and women.
But his show remains a linchpin of the Fox News series, which attracted 4.8 million viewers last week. According to iSpot.tv, the television advertising company, "Tucker Carlson Tonight" has so far generated 16% of Fox News advertising revenue this year. Of the $ 75 million total, more than a third came from a single advertiser: MyPillow, a pillowmaker in Minnesota, led by Mike Lindell, a Trump supporter, and at a press conference in the White Rose Garden in March House occurred.
Only a few large brands are still on the Carlson range. Several major media buyers said they had no customers with current spots on the show.
In addition to spots from the computer security brand Norton, the skin care brand Proactiv and Trump's re-election campaign, advertisements were recently published by a beet powder company that used gun rights personality Dana Loesch as a spokeswoman, a brand for athlete's foot treatment and several law firms iSpot.tv.
This article originally appeared in the New York Times.
© 2020 The New York Times Company
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