Tucker Carlson has recently been the center of a controversy involving a series of demeaning comments he made years ago. Media Matters for America — a nonprofit organization focused on monitoring the press for inaccurate or unreliable information — released the interviews on Mar. 10, 2019.
Carlson started out as a print journalist in the 1990s before becoming a political commentator and being hired by Fox in 2009.
He has worked for Fox News since 2016 hosting, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” a politically driven talk show that airs nightly.
The comments that led to the hashtag “ # Fi r e Tu c k e r C a r l s o n” occurred between 2006 and 2011. Carlson would call into a radio show called, “Bubba the Love Sponge Show,” to discuss various topics, typically related to political issues to voice his opinions. The earliest reported was Apr. 4, 2006.
The subjects of his comments frequently varied but were mainly targeted at minorities. There were many dealing with race, gender, and even the Warren Jeffs case — a legal case in which Jeffs paid a 14-year-old girl to marry her cousin. He also used derogatory terms to refer to women such as Michelle Obama and Samantha Bee.
Among his misogynistic statements, he claims that white men were responsible for “creating civilization”.
Then, several times throughout a five year period, he made racist remarks about former President Barack Obama. Additionally, there were many negative statements made about the war in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries.
The hashtag “ # Fire Tucker Carlson ” started trending on Twitter shortly after these audio files resurfaced. People became angry that Carlson is still employed by Fox News without any sanctions. They feel that his opinions should not be publicized on his own show when they are demeaning to certain populations.
There has also been a call for advertisers to stop sponsoring his nightly show or risking being boycotted by consumers.
In recent months, he lost a total of 34 advertisers such as Samsung, IHOP, and Pacific Life Insurance as a result of his speech.
It is unclear what, if any, other companies will pull their advertisements.
His misogynistic and racist comments continued since being hired by Fox. Recently, in Dec. 2018, he made anti-immigration remarks during his show stating immigrants made the country “poorer and dirtier”.
In Dec., Fox supported Carlson’s opinion on the matter. On the latest clips, Fox has not made any comments.
It seems unlikely that Carlson will face any repercussions over this controversy and will continue to have his show.
Carlson is claiming no responsibility for what he said. In an interview with Variety, he says that it happened more than a decade ago, and his views can be seen on his show.
He also defended himself by saying, “anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on [to his show] and explain why.”
This is not the first time that media figures have made such remarks. Jeanine Pirro, host of a show on Fox News, questioned Representative Ilhan Omar wearing a hijab.
Fox said they would handle the situation regarding her behavior with her directly. Megyn Kelly had her show canceled on NBC after making a racist remark in Oct. 2018.
This string of incidences brings into question how people should deal with news outlets allowing their personnel to make the comments such as Carlson’s and if there should be punishment, even if those comments happened over a decade ago.
The reasons why Carlson has not yet been removed from his position are unclear, as other people in similar positions of power have been removed from their spotlights due to similar comments.