T-Mobile and More Halt Ads on Tucker Carlson's Fox News Show After Black Lives Matter Comments
The host came under fire for saying that the nationwide unrest over police brutality and systemic racism is "definitely not about black lives"
Deadline reported Wednesday that Disney's subsidiary ABC, T-Mobile and Papa Johns would no longer advertise on the primetime Tucker Carlson Tonight.
A Fox News spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE on Thursday that all national dollars/ads were moved to other programs, and there has not been national money lost.
Carlson, 51, came under fire after he argued earlier this week on his show that the nationwide unrest over police brutality and systemic racism sparked by the death of George Floyd is "definitely not about black lives."
An ABC spokesperson told Deadline, "The ABC advertisements were placed on the show without our knowledge by third party media buyers who were unaware that we do not advertise on the show, and they have now been notified not to place any further ads."
T-Mobile confirmed it had pulled its ads from Carlson's show on Twitter, responding to several users who urged the telecommunications brand to reconsider its position after a short clip of Carlson's segment went viral Monday night.
"We haven't run ads on Tucker Carlson Tonight since early May and have cancelled all future placements," the company tweeted. "We will continue to support those who stand against racial injustice."
T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer Mike Sievert also addressed the controversy, tweeting, "We aren't running ads on that show and we won't be running ads on that show in the future. Bye-bye, Tucker Carlson!"
Papa John's said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg that it will no longer advertise on any opinion-based programming: "Placement of advertising is not intended to be an endorsement of any specific programming or commentary," the pizza company said.
During Monday's broadcast of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, saying, "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."
A Fox News spokesperson clarified earlier this week that Tucker was referring to Democratic leaders, not protestors.
Carlson, who referred to the ongoing protests as the "Black Lives Matter riots," added, "You're not allowed to question Black Lives Matter in any way. Full stop. That rule has been enforced without mercy everywhere."
It's not the first advertising boycott over Carlson's commentary. In 2018, several companies halted ads on his show in response to his statement that immigration makes the United States "dirtier."
Fox News said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter at the time that the network "cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts," adding, "While we do not advocate boycotts, these same groups never target other broadcasters and operate under a grossly hypocritical double standard given their intolerance to all opposing points of view."
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.