Fox News reportedly rejected a national advertising buy warning about the potential for fascism to take root in America after network leadership deemed it inappropriate “for their air,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The 30-second-spot reportedly featured a 1939 Nazi rally in New York City and a warning that said, “It Can Happen Here,” while promoting this year's Oscar-nominated documentary short A Night at the Garden. The local ad-buy spot was reportedly set to air during Monday night's edition of Sean Hannity's show, but was moved due to President Trump's rally in Texas. A Night at the Garden’s film distributor then tried to buy a national spot on Hannity's show through a media-buying agency but reportedly “was rebuffed by the network.” A national ad sales representative reportedly told the distributor's agency that Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said the ad was “not appropriate for our air” in an email.
“It’s amazing to me that the C.E.O. of Fox News would personally inject herself into a small ad buy just to make sure that Hannity viewers weren’t exposed to this chapter of American history,” A Night at the Garden director Marshall Curry said in a statement.
Marianne Gambelli, president of ad sales for Fox News, later told The Daily Beast the ad was “full of disgraceful Nazi imagery regardless of the film’s message and did not meet our guidelines.” (However, in August, Fox News did air a 30-second clip of a trailer for right-wing pundit Dinesh D’Souza’s film Death of a Nation, which featured Nazi imagery and a Hitler re-enactor.)
The documentary short's ad will still reportedly run during Hannity's Thursday night episode in Los Angeles to fulfill the ad buy, and those associated with the film claim they plan to buy ads on other news networks.