Fox News' Laura Ingraham losing advertisers over tweet to Parkland survivor
Fox News' Laura Ingraham found herself in hot water this week after publicly criticizing one of the teens who survived the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
Multiple sponsors are pulling their ads from The Ingraham Angle, the host's evening news and opinion program, and Ingraham herself has offered an apology — which Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior David Hogg said he did not accept.
On Wednesday, the network host Tweeted a post from conservative website The Daily Wire about Parkland shooting survivor Hogg being "Rejected By Four Colleges." Ingraham further tweeted that Hogg, one of the student advocates for gun control, "whines about" his "4.1 GPA."
Later that day, Hogg tweeted a list of companies that advertise on The Ingraham Angle, writing, "Pick a number 1-12 contact the company next to that #"
By Thursday, TripAdvisor, Wayfair, Nutrish, and Nestle had decided to pull their ads from The Ingraham Angle. (The other companies listed did not immediately respond to EW's requests for comment.)
"TripAdvisor believes strongly in the values of our company, especially the one that says, 'We are better together.' We also believe Americans can disagree while still being agreeable, and that the free exchange of ideas within a community, in a peaceful manner, is the cornerstone of our democracy," a spokesperson for TripAdvisor told EW in a statement. "We do not, however, condone the inappropriate comments made by this broadcaster. In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency. As such, we have made a decision to stop advertising on that program.
"It is important to note that TripAdvisor has a global and diverse customer base, and is an active advertiser on a number of networks including news," the statement continued. "Our media buys target a variety of time slots and audiences. That said, we will continue to monitor where our advertisements appear in the open market to ensure they fit our guidelines."
Nutrish tweeted to various users on social media that they "are in the process of removing [their] ads from Laura Ingraham's program," while Hulu responded directly to Hogg's tweet.
"We'd like to confirm that we are no longer advertising on Laura Ingraham's show and are monitoring all of our ad placements carefully," the official Twitter account for the streaming platform wrote.
"As a company, we support open dialogue and debate on issues," Wayfair's head of public relations, Jane Carpenter, similarly told CNBC. "However, the decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values. We do not plan to continue advertising on this particular program."
And in a statement to EW, a Nestlé spokesperson said, "We have no plans to buy ads on the show in the future."
Ingraham offered an apology on Thursday morning, writing on Twitter, "Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA —incl. @DavidHogg111. On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland. For the record, I believe my show was the first to feature David immediately after that horrific shooting and even noted how 'poised' he was given the tragedy. As always, he's welcome to return to the show anytime for a productive discussion." Fox News did not have an official statement to make at this time, but directed EW to Ingraham's apology.
Hogg addressed Ingraham's apology in an interview with The New York Times. "She only apologized after we went after her advertisers," Hogg said. "It kind of speaks for itself." He further stated that if all her sponsors pulled their ads, then "we can show that if you continue to bully the students that survived a mass murder, there's going to be consequences."
He also wrote in a tweet, "I 100% agree an apology in an effort just to save your advertisers is not enough. I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight. It's time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children."
This article has been updated with Hulu's response.