Conservative host Tucker Carlson’s nightly Fox News series, Tucker Carlson Tonight—described by the network as an “hour of spirited debate and powerful reporting”—has focused on threatening stories about immigrants and outrage over political correctness since it debuted in November 2016.
In the wake of two mass shootings in America over the weekend that left dozens dead, Carlson called Americans’ growing concerns about the rise of white supremacy and white nationalism a “hoax” during his opening monologue on Tuesday. It’s a “conspiracy theory used to divide the country,” the host said, lashing out at the media for criticizing President Donald Trump’s response to the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
“The whole [white supremacy issue] is a lie,” he added. “It’s actually not a real problem in America.”
Following the host’s remarks, #FireTuckerCarlson began trending on Wednesday, with thousands of Americans calling on Fox News to dismiss the host from his job.
The movement was not the first time citizens have banded together in an attempt to get Carlson off the air. Numerous boycotts—starting in December 2018 over Carlson’s constant espousal of comments deemed by some as inflammatory, racist and homophobic—have lost the show a large number of its advertisers. At least 35 companies have pulled their advertising on the show this year over controversial statements made by the host, including bedding company Sheex and drugmaker Astra Zeneca.
The show lost its first round of advertisers in December, when Carlson made racist remarks about immigrants. One month later, the next round of boycotts began after the host declared that societies worsen when women earn more money than men. Tucker Carlson Tonight continued to lose more advertising in the following months after Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog, shared a compilation of the host’s radio appearances between 2006 and 2011, which showed him making offensive remarks about child rape and women. The group later released another clip of Carlson claiming that Iraq is populated with “semi-illiterate monkeys.”
Despite near-constant boycotts and calls for his firing, Fox News defended Carlson and his program in December and March. “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 company said in a statement earlier this year.
In March, The Hollywood Reporter noted that the average number of ads on the show had halved in the first quarter of 2019, dropping from roughly 36 to 18 per show. A few months later, Bayer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, reportedly stopped advertising on Tucker Carlson Tonightand The Ingraham Angle.
Following Carlson’s show on Wednesday, critics of the host continued to share ongoing petitions on Twitter calling for advertisers to boycott Carlson and Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
“I just took action with Color of Change in the face of the El Paso, Texas tragedy to demand advertisers to drop The Ingraham Angle show and Tucker Carlson Tonight. Will you join me to stop the spread of white supremacist media?” Twitter user @BrianKSutton wrote, alongside a link to a petition titled: “Fox News advertisers must stop supporting white nationalist talking points NOW!” Dozens of other Americans joined Sutton in sharing the same statement and link.
Despite the primetime show currently being the second most-watched cable news program in America, Tucker Carlson Tonight appears to be filling commercial breaks with an increasing number of in-house Fox News ads and lesser known brands.
Here is Newsweek‘s list of some companies that advertised with Carlson on Wednesday’s show:
- My Pillow USA — a pillow manufacturing company, founded in 2004 and based in Minnesota.
- WeatherTech — a company that produces products that provide automotive interior carpet protection.
- Hello Fresh — an international publicly traded meal-kit company, founded in 2011 and based in Berlin, Germany.
- Sandals Resorts — an operator of resorts for couples in the Caribbean, founded in 1981 and is part of parent company Sandals Resorts International.
- Zona Health — a company that sells medical devices for the treatment of hypertension, founded in 2004 and based in Boise, Idaho.
- Wesley Financial Group, LLC — a consumer rights group that specialists in complete timeshare cancellations and timeshare debt eliminations.
- Instaflex — a company that produces a dietary supplement, manufactured to relieve joint discomfort.
- Cancer Treatment Centers of America— a national, for-profit network of cancer care and research centers and patient care centers throughout the U.S., with its headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida.
A more complete list of Tucker Carlson Tonight‘s leading advertisers can be found on Media Matters.
Newsweek reached out to Fox News for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
*see full story by NewsWeek