Red Lobster becomes latest advertiser to pull spots from ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’

January 10, 2019

Red Lobster becomes latest advertiser to pull spots from ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ Image Source: YouTube Screenshot

Fox News superstar anchor Tucker Carlson is still feeling the heat for telling the uncomfortable truth about illegal immigration nearly a month ago.

On Wednesday, the restaurant chain Red Lobster joined some two dozen advertisers who have succumbed to pressure to boycott Carlson’s popular news and commentary show in response to the controversy.

Betrayed!

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” is the second highest rated program on Fox News, attracting millions of faithful viewers weeknights at 8 p.m. ET and exceeding network executives’ most optimistic expectations. Accordingly, Fox has stood behind their star anchor, writing in a December press release:

We cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts from the likes of Moveon.org, Media Matters and Sleeping Giants.

Indeed, with a hyper-motivated base of loyal supporters, Carlson is not going to let a petty demonstration of corporate virtue signaling silence him — but that hasn’t stopped the progressive watchdog groups from trying.

In fact, leftists have already persuaded approximately 20 companies to cancel commercials during Carlson’s hour-long show. Businesses like Samsung, SodaStream, Pfizer Inc., and now Red Lobster have all pulled the plug on advertising following Carlson’s Dec. 13 remarks on illegal immigration.

In poor taste

Red Lobster, which owned by a company called Golden Gate Capital, has not offered any new justification for abandoning Carlson, despite telling The Wrap on Tuesday: “Red Lobster’s advertising buying guidelines reflect our core values and commitment to supporting programming that represents the highest standards of good taste, fair practice and objectivity. We reserve the right to make changes to our purchases when the dialogue is no longer in line with our criteria.”

So what, exactly, did the Fox News anchor say to invite such a severe backlash? After interviewing a Mexican government official who complained that the recent migrant caravan left heaps of garbage in its wake, Carlson dared to suggest that an influx of undocumented migrants would make America “poorer” and “dirtier.”

“We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided,” Carlson said last month. Advertisers took Carlson’s statement completely out of context, ignoring the preceding discussion that provoked his thoughtful analysis and labeling Carlson’s remarks as racist.

Fighting back

Fortunately, several Tucker Carlson Tonight sponsors have resisted pressure from partisans like movie mogul Judd Apatow, who called out companies like the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer on Twitter, writing: “What does it say about your company and your moral positions if you advertise on @tuckercarlson’s show?”

Mitsubishi, Bayer, John Deere, AstraZeneca, Farmers Insurance, Sanofi, and other businesses have refused to be intimidated and weathered the criticism for standing by Carlson, who first responded to the organized sanctions last month. 

“It’s a tactic, a well-worn one,” he said in December, referring to the boycott. “Nobody thinks it’s real. And it won’t work with this show.”

“We’re not intimidated,” Carlson added. “We plan to try to say what’s true until the last day.”

Meanwhile, the liberal blacklisting doesn’t seem to be working so far. Fox News insists that it has not lost any advertising revenue from the boycott.

“We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions,” the network said in a statement.


Benjamin Baird

Benjamin Baird is a senior staff writer for the Conservative Institute. He is a veteran infantryman of Iraq and Afghanistan with over 1000 days in combat and holds a degree in Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University. Ben is a regular contributor at the Middle East Forum and has written for dozens of conservative publications, including The Daily Caller, American Spectator, American Thinker, New English Review and Yahoo News.