Amid Social Media Backlash, Fox News' Laura Ingraham Faces No Advertiser Boycott
"Fox News will never tolerate or give in to attempts to silence diverse viewpoints by agenda-driven intimidation efforts," the network said Tuesday in a statement to THR.
Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham has faced a ferocious backlash on social media since comparing temporary detention centers set up on the border to house migrant children taken away from their parents to "essentially summer camps" (or boarding schools) on her Monday night show.
But, so far, none of her advertisers has publicly pledged to pull out, despite the backlash. Of the more than 10 top corporate advertisers contacted by The Hollywood Reporter, none revealed plans to pull spots from The Ingraham Angle — and most did not respond.
StarKist, which ran five ads in a recent weeklong period, said in a statement to THR: "We do not endorse individual opinions. Our television ads appear on a number of cable networks as part of our national media buy."
Mike Lindell, the politically conservative chief executive of top advertiser My Pillow, said, "I have no intention of changing my advertising."
Between June 4 and 15, Ingraham's top television advertisers were Sandals resort (21 ads), Home Advisor (13 ads), My Pillow (10 ads) and SiriusXM radio (10 ads), according to Kantar Media data.
Fox News on Tuesday provided a statement to THR supporting Ingraham, as it did during a previous controversy. “Laura Ingraham’s very personal, on-the-ground commitment to the plight of impoverished and abandoned children — specifically in Guatemala — speaks for itself," the network said. "So, too, does her strong belief in a common-sense, legal immigration system, which will continue to be a focus of her show. Fox News will never tolerate or give in to attempts to silence diverse viewpoints by agenda-driven intimidation efforts.”
Ingraham's show lost advertisers after the host mocked former Parkland, Florida, high school student David Hogg on Twitter in late March. While some advertisers have since returned, the level of advertising on her show still lags behind what it was prior to the boycott effort. In mid-May, the network contested that narrative, saying in a statement to THR: "Advertisers are returning, and we expect things to return to normal."
On Tuesday morning, Hogg posted a list of Ingraham's television advertisers on Twitter and wrote, "So @IngrahamAngle we meet again. Who are you biggest advertisers now?"
Hogg could not be reached for comment, and an email sent to the communications consulting firm Precision Strategies, which is working with Hogg's advocacy group, was not returned.
Powerful showrunners like Seth MacFarlane and Steve Levitan have called out Fox News' coverage of the debate surrounding illegal immigration.
At the end of her show Monday night, Ingraham suggested that "boarding schools" was a better comparison for the facilities than "summer camps." She added, "I suggest that a lot of the folks who are worried about that spend more time in Central America. I have. And we should make adoption easier for American couples who want to adopt these kids who are true candidates for adoption because our policies don’t allow that. So let’s put our hearts out there for the kids in the right way. Take care of them the right way. Open your hearts and your homes to them."