The Anti-Defamation League is reiterating its calls for Fox News to fire Tucker Carlson after the network’s primetime star went all-in on espousing the racist “Great Replacement” theory this week.
The last time Carlson embraced the conspiracy theory, his boss Lachlan Murdoch dismissed the outrage, claiming the Fox star was merely talking about voting rights. But now, the ADL said, Carlson is “openly embracing white nationalist talking points.”
The Fox News host has repeatedly fear-mongered about Democrats allegedly bringing in dark-skinned immigrants with the express purpose of “replacing” the American (read: white) electorate. On Wednesday night, he declared that the Biden administration is intentionally trying “to change the racial mix of the country” through immigration.
“In political terms, this policy is called ‘the great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries,” Carlson exclaimed. “They brag about it all the time, but if you dare to say it's happening they will scream at you with maximum hysteria.”
The so-called “Great Replacement” theory is a white-supremacist belief in a conspiracy among liberals and wealthy elites to demographically and culturally replace the white population of majority-white countries with immigrants of non-European descent. In recent years, the theory has served as the inspiration for racist mass killings in El Paso, Pittsburgh and Christchurch, New Zealand.
Yet, despite its overtly racist and antisemitic roots, the conspiracy theory—thanks in large part to Carlson’s embrace of it—has become more acceptable and normalized within the Republican Party, with numerous GOP lawmakers and officials openly citing it.
On Thursday, in response to Carlson’s latest segment, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt renewed his calls for Fox News to dump its biggest star.
“It cannot be overstated enough,” Greenblatt said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “For Tucker Carlson, host of one of the most-watched news programs in the country, to use his platform as a megaphone to spread the toxic, antisemitic, and xenophobic ‘great replacement theory’ is a repugnant and dangerous abuse of his platform.”
Greenblatt added: “If it somehow wasn’t clear enough before to the executives at Fox News that Carlson was openly embracing white nationalist talking points, let last night’s episode be case and point. We reiterate our call to Fox News and Lachlan Murdoch: Tucker Carlson must go.”
After Carlson first began espousing the “replacement” theory on air this past April—claiming at the time that Democrats want to “replace the current electorate” with “more obedient voters from the Third World”—Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch summarily dismissed the ADL’s outrage.
Responding to a letter Greenblatt sent to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott demanding Carlson’s termination for invoking a “classic white supremacist trope,” Murdoch—long a champion of Carlson’s—insisted the Fox host was just talking about voting rights.
“Concerning the segment of ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ on April 8th, however, we respectfully disagree,” Murdoch wrote in a letter to the ADL. “A full review of the guest interview indicates that Mr. Carlson decried and rejected replacement theory. As Mr. Carlson himself stated during the guest interview: ‘White replacement theory? No, no, this is a voting rights question.’”
Five months later, after inching closer to it in recent broadcasts, Carlson finally crossed the line, seemingly contradicting Murdoch’s defense of his star in the process.
The ADL, meanwhile, wasn’t the only organization to revisit its calls for Carlson to be axed by Fox.
“By openly embracing the white supremacist ‘great replacement’ theory, which numerous mass murderers have cited in their manifestos, Tucker Carlson once again proved that his program poses a grave danger to our society,” said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, national deputy director of the Council on American Islamic Relations. “Fox News should fire Mr. Carlson and any other host who promotes these racist, dangerous conspiracy theories.”
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.