Rupert Murdoch's sons weigh in on Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban'

The 21st Century Fox chiefs voice their support for diversity and immigration

Maya Oppenheim@mayaoppenheim
Wednesday 01 February 2017 13:48
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A day after the Brexit result, Mr Trump dined with Rupert Murdoch and the President recently tweeted his support for Murdoch
A day after the Brexit result, Mr Trump dined with Rupert Murdoch and the President recently tweeted his support for Murdoch

Donald Trump’s hardline immigration ban has caused almost as much chaos in airports as it has caused outrage among critics.

The Murdoch brothers have now become the latest Hollywood figures to weigh in on the Presidents “Muslim ban”.

The 21st Century Fox chiefs, James and Lachlan Murdoch, who are CEO and chairman respectively, sent a memo to employees on Monday pitting their ideals against Mr Trump's controversial immigration ban. Their firm owns Fox News which has been criticised for its overly favourable coverage of Mr Trump.

The company expressed support for diversity and immigration and informed staff the company was doing all it could to help those employees and their families affected by the ban, acknowledging it was a time of “uncertainty” for their workers around the world.

Last week, the President signed an executive order suspending the entire US refugee admissions system for 120 days, halting the Syrian refugee programme indefinitely, and banning entry for people from seven majority-Muslim countries. People have been blocked from boarding US-bound flights and detained in US airports.

“21st Century Fox is a global company, proudly headquartered in the US, founded by - and comprising at all levels of the business – immigrants,” the memo stated.

“We deeply value diversity and believe immigration is an essential part of America’s strength. Moreover, as a company that is driven by creativity and innovation, we recognise the unique perspective offered by our many people who came to the US in search of the opportunity for unfettered self-expression. We will continue to monitor developments in what is still a fluid situation”.

While the statement is implicitly critical it is far more diluted in tone than the remarks made by other industry leaders such as Google's Sergey Brin and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. This might be because the brother's father, Rupert Murdoch, has links with Mr Trump.

Their father, who has overall ownership of the company, has not commented on the immigration ban and his name was not included in the memo.

Despite the fact the senior Murdoch said he thought Mr Trump was “wrong” about immigrants in 2015, he later warmed to him, deciding to back him during the presidential elections. This alliance is reported to have been partially instigated and eased by Mr Trump’s son-in-law and senior aide, Jared Kushner, who is friends with the media mogul.

Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump

A day after the Brexit result, Mr Trump dined with Murdoch and the President recently tweeted his support for Murdoch, saying: “Rupert Murdoch is a great guy who likes me much better as a very successful candidate than he ever did as a very successful developer!”

The pair, who were both media celebrities in New York, have known each other for decades.

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