Advertisers are fleeing Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show after the presenter, and friend of Donald Trump, suggested the US is “dirtier” due to immigrants.
Amid a monologue railing against low-skilled immigration last week, Mr Carlson said: “We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”
The comment sparked a backlash among sponsors of his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight. On Monday, personal finance website NerdWallet told NBC News it had “pulled its advertising” and would be “re-evaluating” its relationship with the programme.
Pacific Life, an insurance company, said it disagreed with Mr Carlson and would not be advertising on the show “in the coming weeks”.
Fitness training brand Bowflex’s parent company, Nautilus, told Hollywood Reporter it had instructed Fox News to “remove our ads” from airing during Mr Carlson’s show.
And Minted, an online design marketplace, announced on Twitter is had “permanently discontinued advertising” on the show over the comments, which were “not consistent with the values” of the company.
A Fox News Channel spokesperson told The Independent: “It is a shame that left-wing advocacy groups, under the guise of being supposed ‘media watchdogs,’ weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech."
“We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions."
Mr Carlson addressed the controversy on Monday, appearing to double-down on his comments after replaying the Thursday night segment.
"That's what we said. It's true. Those who won't shut up get silenced ... The enforcers scream 'Racist!' on Twitter until everybody gets intimidated and changes the subject to the Russia investigation or some other distraction,” he said.
“It's a tactic, a well-worn one. Nobody thinks it's real. And it won't work with this show. We're not intimidated. We plan to try to say what's true until the last day."
Mr Carlson has regularly used his show to make negative and inflammatory comments about immigrants and perpetuate the baseless concept of white people being under attack.
Mr Trump has encouraged his Twitter followers to watch the 49-year-old's show.
Correction: The Independent incorrectly stated Mr Carlson had appeared at a Trump rally and had ties to Michael Cohen. It was in fact fellow Fox News host Sean Hannity.
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