Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian, June 11, 2020
A series of major US corporations, including T-Mobile and Disney, have said they will no longer advertise on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, after Carlson was accused of racism for attacking anti-racism protesters.
In the last 48 hours five companies – T-Mobile, SmileDirectClub, Disney, Papa John’s and the office furniture company Vari – have said they will pull advertising on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Media Matters reported, leaving Carlson with a dwindling list of sponsors.
The exodus began after Carlson, who has described white supremacy in America as a “hoax”, suggested the protests inspired by the death of George Floyd were not about race.
“This may be a lot of things, this moment we’re living through, but it is definitely not about black lives. Remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will,” he told his viewers.
On Tuesday T-Mobile said it had “cancelled all future placements” on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
The T-Mobile chief executive, Mike Sievert, went further on Twitter, when he responded to someone asking if Carlson’s comments were the type of message the company supported.
“It definitely is not. Bye-bye Tucker Carlson! #BlackLivesMatter,” Sievert wrote.
Judd Legum, who publishes the Popular Information newsletter, reported that Disney, Papa John’s and Vari each dropped Carlson on Wednesday. Media Matters said SmileDirectClub would also cease advertising on Carlson’s show.
Fox News attempted to downplay the exodus. “All national dollars/ads were moved to other programs, and there has not been any national money lost,” a spokeswoman said.
The news channel had been forced to defend Carlson’s remarks on Tuesday, a spokesman telling the Washington Post: “Tucker’s warning about ‘when they come for you’ was clearly referring to Democratic leaders and inner city politicians.”
But Carlson’s comments fit with his previous statements about race.
Carlson, who on Tuesday criticized a Sesame Street puppet for suggesting racism was a problem in the US, has broadcast a string of anti-immigrant sentiment.
In one incident Carlson said that letting low-income people immigrate to America “makes our own country poor and dirtier”.