Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on his show Tuesday that white supremacy is a “hoax” and not a major concern in the U.S. He’s faced intense backlash, but seemingly not from his network or advertisers, who have remained largely silent on the incident.
His comments came just 72 hours after the El Paso, Texas shooting that killed 22 — mostly Hispanic — people. The white El Paso shooting suspect allegedly posted a manifesto online that bemoaned a “Hispanic invasion.” Carlson said white supremacy is actually not an issue in the U.S.
“Just like the Russia hoax, it’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power,” he said.
This incident was not the first Carlson has come under fire for his comments regarding race. Last year, he faced a huge reduction of advertisers after saying immigration made America “poorer and dirtier.”
Later, when media watch group Media Matters published audio clips of Carlson making vulgar, racist and misogynistic remarks on Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show, Carlson lost additional advertisers but received support from Fox News network.
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However, this time, it seems, most of Carlson’s remaining advertisers are keeping their mouths shut.
The Daily Beast said in an article that they reached out to all of Carlson’s advertisers. They did not hear back from the vast majority of them. PC Matic attempted to go off the record to say they had no comment without the publication previously agreeing to an off-the-record interview.
The Hollywood Reporter reported Nestle, which had advertised its Proactiv skin care products during Carlson’s slot, said it does not plan to renew its deal with Carlson’s show.
A Fox Corporation spokesperson also did not respond, the Daily Beast reported.
CNN reporter Oliver Darcy reported individual board members — including former house speaker Paul Ryan — did not respond to requests for comment either. Darcy said one board member Roland Hernandez, the former CEO of Telemundo, abruptly hung up when he asked about Carlson.
Other Fox personalities who have lost advertisers include Laura Ingraham, who mocked a Parkland shooting survivor for not being accepted into several colleges in 2018 and touted an Paul Nehlen, a well-known anti-Semite and white supremacist in 2019. Weekend host Jeanine Pirro saw a drop in advertising after the network suspended her for saying Rep. Ilhan Omar is not American enough because she wears a hijab.
On his show Wednesday night, Carlson told critics to “calm down,” saying racism might be a problem, but that the country faces other, more pressing issues, including national debt and a “fading middle class.”
At the end of his broadcast, he announced he was going on vacation until Aug. 19. Fox News said the vacation was planned prior to the Tuesday night incident, but other controversial Fox figures have been known to go on “vacation,” never to return. The most famous example being Bill O’Reilly who went on “vacation” amid allegations of sexual harassment against him.
The FBI has said the majority of recent domestic terrorism incidents have been linked to white supremacy.