Fox News on Tuesday afternoon compared an ad-boycott effort against Tucker Carlson’s show to activists who attempted to “terrorize” the right-wing star at his home last month.
Advertisers have been dropping Carlson’s show since he suggested last week that immigrants are making the United States “dirtier.”
In a statement, the cable network said it "cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored” by left-leaning watchdog groups like Media Matters, which monitors Fox News and often points out that Carlson’s rhetoric resembles that of white nationalists.
“Attempts were made last month to bully and terrorize Tucker and his family at their home,” the network’s Tuesday statement continued, referring to the activists who protested outside his D.C. home, reportedly damaging the front door. “He is now once again being threatened via Twitter by far left activist groups with deeply political motives.”
“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 statement concluded.
It’s unclear whether the ad boycott will have any effect on the network’s bottom line.
Fox News noted to The Daily Beast that all of the advertisers who ditched Carlson’s had simply recommitted ads to other shows, meaning the network itself has not lost any advertising revenue from the boycott.
The boycott began after Carlson said on his primetime show last week that the influx of low-skilled immigrants “makes our own country poor and dirtier and more divided.” On Friday, Pacific Life announced that it would no longer advertise on his show, adding that “Our customer base and our workforce reflect the diversity of our great nation, something we we take great pride in.
By midday Monday, companies like Indeed, Bowflex, and Minted had joined the boycott.
“We’re not intimidated,” Carlson said on his Monday evening broadcast. “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.”
After Carlson doubled down, on Tuesday other major companies like IHOP, Ancestry.com, Just for Men, and Jaguar Land Rover removed their ads from Carlson’s show.
“At our core, we stand for welcoming folks from all backgrounds and beliefs into our restaurants and continually evaluate ad placements to ensure they align with our values,” IHOP told The Hollywood Reporter. “In this case, we will no longer be advertising on this show.”
Carlson is just the latest Fox News primetime host to face an advertiser boycott.
In November 2017, several major companies ceased advertising during Sean Hannity’s top-rated show after he appeared deferential in an interview with former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, seemingly suggesting that an alleged incident of Moore’s sexual misconduct against a 14-year-old girl was “consensual.” Advertisers similarly ditched Laura Ingraham in March after she mocked Parkland school-shooting survivor David Hogg for being rejected from multiple colleges.