Laura Ingraham, the ‘Ingraham Angle’ host on Fox News, learned the consequences of cyberbullying the hard way after her public mockery of a teenage Parkland shooting survivor backfired enormously leading to loss of almost a dozen advertisers for her television show as well as being laid from her show for an entire week to cool down the situation.
The Fox News host has posted a public apology on Twitter since then in hopes to regain the support of the advertisers, but most of them are not ready to accept her apology.
Television Show Host Flees After Backlash
On Friday, March 30, Laura Ingraham announced on television that she will be taking an entire week off from her show after receiving serious public backlash for criticizing a young Parkland shooting survivor and mocking him on her Twitter account.
Her decision to stay out of spotlight for an entire week came after 11 companies dropped their advertisements from her show, but the TV host used the excuse of taking the time off to enjoy Easter celebrations with her children.
A spokesperson for Fox News corroborated Ingraham’s story in an Email sent out to news publications on Saturday, saying that the Fox News host had informed the network about her leave weeks ago and had also organized a line-up of guest hosts to take over in her absence.
Despite the network’s reassurances, many believe that Ingraham’s disappearance from the spotlight had more to do with the advertisers’ boycott from her show than anything else.
Tweet that Started It All
The trouble began on Wednesday, March 28, only two days before the announcement of her untimely vacation on-air, when the Ingraham Angle host posted a disrespectful tweet mocking the 17-year-old David Hogg, a survivor of the February 14 Parkland shooting incident. In response to her taunting statement, Hogg publicly asked the Fox News advertisers to boycott her show.
In the controversial tweet which initiated the drama, Ingraham accused Hogg of using his campaign to whine about being rejected by four colleges he applied to, including UCLA which has extremely low acceptance rates. Ingraham hinted that the reason behind Hogg’s rejection was not his stance on gun laws but actually his 4.1 GPA which is isn’t considered impressive in the eyes of prestigious colleges.
17-year-old Hogg and his classmates, who survived the February shooting attack that left 17 dead in Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, have become the young leaders of a new movement against gun violence, calling the government for arms control reforms that can curb gun violence incidents in the country.
On the weekend before Ingraham’s tweet, Hogg led a successful protest in Washington where he marched alongside the Parkland shooting survivors to honor those who were killed in the tragic incident.
A Public Apology
Ingraham quickly removed her disrespectful tweet after Hogg released the complete list of advertisers for The Ingraham Angle on his Twitter account, urging the companies to pull their ads from the show. The Fox News host put out a public apology the next day saying that she did not intend to disrespect or make mockery of the brave Parkland shooting survivors and that any child with a 4.2 GPA should be proud of his academic achievements.
She also added that she had been one of the biggest supporters of Hogg and was the first one to feature him on her show after the terrible incident. Ingraham said that she commends the 17-year-old activist for the poise he showed in the wake of the tragedy and he is always welcome to come back to the show to have a mature discussion about his stance on gun control laws.
Dropped by Advertisers
The public twitter apology didn’t have the effect on advertisers that Ingraham had hoped, and advertisers continued to drop her show. Celebrity Chef Rachel Ray’s pet food line called Nutrish was the first to pull their ads from the Ingraham Angle followed by home furnishing company Wayfair, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Nestle, and Hulu.
By Friday, five more companies had joined the list of boycotters, including online shopping service Stitch Fix, Johnson & Johnson, Jenny Craig, Office Depot, and Atlantis Paradise Island resort.
The 17-year-old said that he would only accept her apology if she took responsibility on behalf of her network for disrespecting and ridiculing him and his supporters who have taken it upon themselves to fight for gun control laws.