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Advertisers bail on Fox News' Tucker Carlson over immigration comments

On his show, Carlson railed against a "moral obligation" to admit migrants into the U.S. even, he said, "if it makes our country poorer and dirtier and more divided."
Politicon 2018 - Day 2
Tucker Carlson speaks onstage during Politicon 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Oct. 21.Rich Polk / Getty Images for Politicon file

Fox News host Tucker Carlson faced an escalating backlash on Monday from advertisers as they continued ditching his show over a segment about immigration.

Among the latest to bail on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" was the personal finance website NerdWallet, which said in a statement to NBC News that it had “pulled its advertising and will be reevaluating any ongoing advertising on this program.”

A spokeswoman confirmed the company abandoned the show after a monologue Thursday about economics and immigration in which Carlson said the U.S. needs more “scientists and skilled engineers” for increasingly automated and tech-centered jobs.

“Instead we’re getting waves of people with high school educations or less,” Carlson said. “Nice people, no one doubts that, but as an economic matter this is insane. It’s indefensible, so no one even tries to defend it. Instead our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”

On Friday, one of the show’s advertisers, Pacific Life Insurance Company, said that it “strongly disagree[d]” with his comments.

“Our customer base and our workforce reflect the diversity of our great nation, something we take great pride in,” the statement said. “We will not be advertising on Mr. Carlson’s show in the coming weeks as we reevaluate our relationship with his program.”

A spokeswoman with SmileDirectClub, which makes teeth straighteners, said the company is “actively working with our media buyers to confirm that SmileDirectClub is no longer running our ads around any political opinion shows.”

The spokeswoman, Shara Siegel, declined to say if the departure was over Thursday’s show.

The fitness equipment maker Nautilus also bailed on the show, according to a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Ancestry confirmed on Tuesday that it had ceased advertising on Carlson's show.

On Monday night, online design company tweeted in response to complaints that it had permanently ended its advertising on Carlson's program. Online job marketplace Indeed similarly tweeted it was not currently running ads on the program and had no plans to advertise on it in the future.

As activists continued to call out other companies that advertise on the show, Carlson said Monday that he wouldn’t be “silenced” by what he called a “well-worn” tactic of the left.

“It won’t work with this show,” he said.

A Fox News spokesperson said the boycotts were the result of liberal activism.

“It is a shame that left wing advocacy groups, under the guise of being supposed ‘media watchdogs’ weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.”