Laura Ingraham Apologizes to Parkland Survivor as Advertisers Ditch Her Show
The Fox News primetime host on Wednesday mocked teenager David Hogg for being rejected by multiple colleges. In response, a few companies withdrew ads from her show.
After right-wing star Laura Ingraham publicly mocked Parkland school-shooting survivor David Hogg for being rejected by multiple colleges, several companies have pulled their ads from her primetime Fox News show.
“David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA...totally predictable given acceptance rates.)” Ingraham wrote Thursday on Twitter while sharing an article on the matter from right-wing outlet The Daily Wire.
Hogg launched to social-media stardom over the past month, becoming an outspoken anti-gun activist after 17 of his classmates and teachers were shot and killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in February. As a result of his newfound platform, Hogg has also become the subject of conspiracy theories and general disdain from right-wing commentators.
In response to Ingraham publicly mocking his college rejections, Hogg called for a boycott of her Fox News advertisers, singling out 12 companies that ran ads during her broadcasts this week.
As of Friday afternoon, several of those advertisers have already pledged to remove their ads from The Ingraham Angle, her 10 p.m. Fox News show.
Rachael Ray’s pet-food brand Nutrish was the first, telling HuffPost in a statement: “We are in the process of removing our ads from Laura Ingraham’s program, as the comments she has made are not consistent with how we feel people should be treated.”
“We believe strongly in the values of our company, especially the one that says, ‘We are better together.’ We also believe Americans can disagree while still being agreeable, and that the free exchange of ideas within a community, in a peaceful manner, is the cornerstone of our democracy,” travel-booking website TripAdvisor said in a statement.
“We do not, however, condone the inappropriate comments made by [Ingraham]. In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency. As such, we have made a decision to stop advertising on that program.”
Home-goods digital retailer Wayfair said in a statement to The Daily Beast: “As a company, we support open dialogue and debate on issues. However, the decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values. We do not plan to continue advertising on this particular program.”
A Nestlé spokesperson told The Daily Beast: “We have no plans to buy ads on the show in the future.” Expedia told The New York Times that it “recently pulled the advertising.”
Hulu and Johnson & Johnson removed their ads following the backlash, and an Office Depot spokesperson told The Daily Beast that it would not advertise on Ingraham’s show in the future.
Honda said it had no plans to advertise on Ingraham's show, and Liberty Mutual Insurance told employees in a memo from its CEO that “We are not scheduled to run any future ads on her show and will continue to analyze our advertising placements to make sure they align with our beliefs as a company.”
Apparently it only took a few advertisers to force Ingraham to issue a public apology.
“Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA —incl. @DavidHogg111,” the Fox host tweeted Thursday afternoon. “On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland.”
Ingraham then pivoted to boasting how her show was among “the first to feature David immediately after that horrific shooting and even noted how ‘poised’ he was given the tragedy. As always, he’s welcome to return to the show anytime for a productive discussion.”
Hogg didn’t buy her apology, however. “She only apologized after we went after her advertisers,” he told The New York Times. “It kind of speaks for itself.”
Several companies seemed taken aback that their advertisements even ran during Ingraham’s show.
Japanese automaker Subaru told The Daily Beast that they are unaware of having advertised during The Ingraham Angle and are looking into the matter.
And though its ad ran twice during Wednesday’s broadcast, men’s clothier Jos. A. Bank distanced itself from Ingraham, telling The Daily Beast that it does not pay for advertising on the show, and that those ads were likely bonuses provided by the network.
The Daily Beast reached out to more than a dozen other major companies that advertised during Ingraham’s program this week, including Hulu, AT&T, Sleep Number, Liberty Mutual, Bayer, Pfizer, Geico, and Terminix.
—Tatyana Bellamy-Walker contributed reporting.