Walt Disney Co. and other companies, including Papa John’s International Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc., have pulled ads from Tucker Carlson’s primetime show on Fox News Channel following his remarks on the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests — some of which have descended into violent riots.
“This may be a lot of things, this moment we’re living through, but it is definitely not about Black lives,” Carlson said during Monday’s broadcast. “And remember that when they come for you — and at this rate, they will.” And according to Deadline, the companies have pulled ads from Tucker Carlson Tonight due to the host’s views on the widespread protests.
“Anyone who has ever been subjected to the rage of the mob knows the feeling. It’s like being swarmed by hornets. You cannot think clearly. And the temptation is to panic, but you can’t panic,” Carlson warned. “You’ve got to keep your head and tell the truth. Tell the truth. If you show weakness of any kind, they will crush you.”
Tucker Carlson: "This may be a lot of things, this moment we are living through, but it is definitely not about black lives and remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will." pic.twitter.com/HMP3q8WgbQ
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) June 9, 2020
A spokesperson for Fox News clarified Carlson’s remark, which triggered critics, explaining that his warning was “clearly referring to Democratic leaders and inner-city politicians.”
Nonetheless, the host’s analysis drew ire from progressives, causing several advertisers to pull ads from the show, as reported by Judd Legum, founder of the left-leaning ThinkProgress and Popular Information:
The company has advertised on Tucker Carlson 29 times in 2020. Popular Information asked Disney if the company planned to continue to sponsor Carlson’s program in light of his recent comments about Black Lives Matter and the company’s stated commitment to racial justice. Disney declined to offer a response.
UPDATE (6/10): Disney tells Popular Information that it will no longer advertise on Tucker Carlson. The company says the ads were placed through a third party ad buyer and the company was not previously aware they were running during the show. Disney says it has instructed the third party to stop placing ads on Tucker Carlson moving forward.
Other companies have followed suit. Papa John’s told Popular Information:
Papa John’s media spend is designed to reach a wide range of potential, new and existing consumers across platforms. Placement of advertising is not intended to be an endorsement of any specific programming or commentary. We have decided to suspend all resources allocated against opinion-based programming.
T-Mobile has also openly severed ties, after being pressured on social media by the same group, Sleeping Giants, that has targeted Breitbart’s advertisers.
If #blacklivesmatter to T-Mobile, will you reconsider your support of Tucker Carlson Tonight, and of Fox News, who aired this extremely racist segment scaremongering about the Black community just last night? https://t.co/eGPf0jKkdQ https://t.co/WTgHMd3SNx
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) June 9, 2020
— sangriapapi (@DrNygard) June 9, 2020
A Fox News spokesperson told Deadline that “all national dollars/ads were moved to other programs and there has not been any national money lost.”
“Tell the truth, and the truth is, this is a good country,” Carlson said on Monday. “Better than any other. Of course, we are flawed, but we are trying, unlike most places and we have nothing to be ashamed of — none of us.”
Carlson faced similar backlash in 2018 after progressive groups launched a blacklisting effort, urging advertisers to block his show due to his remarks on U.S. immigration policy.