Several advertisers have dropped Tucker Carlson’s show after the Fox News host suggested last week that immigrants are making the United States “dirtier.”
Last Thursday, Carlson ran a segment arguing against the economic benefits of immigration in which he claimed the influx of low-skilled workers “makes our own country poor and dirtier and more divided.”
“Nobody even tries to defend it,” Tucker said of workers without a college education coming to the U.S. “Instead, our leaders demand that you shut up and accept it. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poor and dirtier and more divided.”
At least four advertisers were not pleased with Carlson’s comments.
On Friday, Pacific Life announced that it would not advertise on Carlson’s show, and the company would “reevaluate our relationship with his program.”
“As a company, we strongly disagree with Mr. Carlson’s statements,” the company said last week. “Our customer base and our workforce reflect the diversity of our great nation, something we we take great pride in. We will not be advertising on Mr. Carlson’s show in the coming weeks as we reevaluate our relationship with his program.”
On Monday, jobs site Indeed followed suit, saying it had no plans to advertise on Carlson’s show in the future. The parent company of fitness brand Bowflex also said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that it would no longer be advertising on his program.
Online design marketplace Minted also announced Monday they would be dropping Carlson's show from their advertising buys.
“We do not agree with Mr. Carlson's comments and his opinions are not consistent with the values we hold at Minted,” the company wrote in a tweet. “Like other advertisers, our media purchases are done broadly across a number of networks.”
Other advertisers have stuck with the Fox News host.
Farmers Insurance, one of the program's advertisers, said in a statement to The Daily Beast that the company's ad buying decisions should not be portrayed as political.
"Farmers invests in advertising across a broad range of networks and programs that reflect the diversity of opinions and viewpoints found across the nation," the company said in a statement. "Advertising decisions made by Farmers should not be construed to be an endorsement of any kind as to a show’s content or the individuals appearing on the show."
Mitsubishi, another advertiser, told The Daily Beast it did not consider politics as a factor when making ad buys.
“Our advertising media spend is determined based on demographics and psychographics, not politics,” a company spokesperson said. “Our strategic marketing intent is to share our key product news with consumers through a variety of media channels. We will monitor the situation and adjust our advertising if necessary.”
In a statement, a Fox News spokesperson said it is was a “shame that left-wing advocacy groups, under the guise of being supposed ‘media watchdogs’ weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech. We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.”
During his show on Monday, Carlson defended his comments, saying various government statistics showed that illegal immigration has damaged natural landscape in the American Southwest.
“We're not intimidated,” he said. “We plan to try to say what’s true until the last day. And the truth is unregulated mass immigration has badly hurt this country's natural landscape.”
Carlson isn’t the first Fox News host to experience an ad boycott this year.
A number of Laura Ingraham’s advertisers dropped her show in March after she mocked David Hogg, a teenage survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Several advertisers also boycotted Sean Hannity’s show in 2017 after he was criticized for being too deferential during an interview with former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old.
Some critics have gone further, arguing for boycotts of Fox’s larger entertainment and media business.
Earlier this year, producer Judd Apatow called on staff and showrunners working with 21st Century Fox, the former parent company of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, to speak out against Fox News.