Advertisers abandon Fox News' Tucker Carlson

Host made controversial anti-immigrant comments

By OLIVER DARCY, CNN BUSINESS
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Politicon

Tucker Carlson speaks onstage during Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 

(CNN) - More than a dozen companies have announced they will either pull or suspend their advertising from Tucker Carlson's Fox News show over comments about immigration he made last week.

Land Rover, IHOP, Ancestry.com, Just For Men, Minted, Smile Direct, Pacific Life, ScotteVest, Nerd Wallet, TD Ameritrade, Bowflex, CareerBuilder, Zenni and the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card had as of Tuesday afternoon all released statements saying that they would no longer advertise on "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

The retreat from Carlson's program came as liberal activists and organizations pressured companies to abandon the show.

Carlson, a conservative who has made the subject of immigration a hallmark of his program, made the comments that led to the advertisers' decisions on Thursday night, when he said on his show that mass-immigration "makes our country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided."

After an initial backlash that included at least three advertisers pulling their commercials, Carlson defended those comments on his show Monday night, showing images of trash left at the US-Mexico border and arguing that "huge swaths of the region are covered with garbage and waste" left behind by immigrants "that degrade the soil and kill wildlife."

Carlson added on Monday night that "the left" wants him to "shut up," but that he would not because he was "not intimidated."

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, a Fox News spokesperson said, "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."

The Fox News spokesperson added, "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 Fox News spokesperson said that all of the advertisers were moving their commercials to other shows on the network and that as a result no revenue had been lost.

Some companies have released statements suggesting that they would continue to run advertisements on the program.

Fox News has faced similar advertiser boycotts before.

In April, more than a dozen companies said they would no longer advertise on Laura Ingraham's show after Ingraham mocked David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting who has become a vocal advocate for gun control.

Last year, a separate advertiser backlash hit Carlson's predecessor on Fox News' 8 p.m. hour, Bill O'Reilly, after a New York Times report about settlements with women who alleged either sexual harassment or verbal abuse by O'Reilly. The number of advertisers pulling their commercials eventually grew to at least 60, and O'Reilly was eventually pushed out of Fox.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the day Fox News issued a statement.

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