Fox News has refused to air a 30-second advertisement for an Oscar-nominated documentary on the rise of Nazis that warns about the dangers of fascism, leading to criticism against the right-leaning network.
The ad, called “It Can Happen Here,” would have aired during Sean Hannity’s primetime program but was rejected by the network, the Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday. The advertisement was a promotion for the Oscar-nominated documentary A Night at the Garden, which tells the story of a 1939 Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City. An advertising sales representative told the outlet that leadership at Fox News deemed the advertisement “inappropriate.”
The ad had already been purchased for the Los Angeles market during Monday’s airing of Sean Hannity’s program, but was pre-empted when the network moved to live coverage of Donald Trump’s rally in El Paso, Texas. The film distributor then tried to purchase a national ad, but was rejected by the network.
The report noted that some cable news networks have chosen not to air politically motivated advertisements, including CNN rejecting an ad from Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign back in August 2017 because the advertisement referred to some CNN personalities as “enemies” of Trump.
The report noted that the Fox News CEO personally declined the anti-Nazi ad, which angered the documentary’s director.
“It’s amazing to me that the CEO of Fox News would personally inject herself into a small ad buy just to make sure that Hannity viewers weren’t exposed to this chapter of American history,” said director Marshall Curry.
Fox News has often been slammed for its lack of critical reporting on Donald Trump and for segments that appeared to be aimed directly at currying Trump’s favor. The president frequently tweets about segments he recently watched on Fox News, especially the morning show Fox and Friends. In some cases this has even led Trump to oppose his own policies. As the Chicago Tribune noted, Trump took to Twitter to slam the proposed FISA renewal last year after seeing a Fox News segment critical of it — despite the fact that it was supported by the White House.
Fox banned an ad showing Nazis in a bad light bc it hit too close to home. (This is not a joke and there is no punchline)https://t.co/NHuPZHAThF— Eli Valley (@elivalley) February 14, 2019
Sean Hannity has also been criticized for his close relationship to Donald Trump and failure to disclose potential conflicts of interest to viewers. It was revealed last year that Hannity had secretly been a client of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer who at the time was facing charges that he violated campaign finance laws with hush money payments to two women claiming they had affairs with Trump. Hannity did not disclose the relationship as he defended Cohen on the air.
Editor’s note: Fox News reached out the Inquisitr with a statement from Marianne Gambelli, President of Ad Sales.
“The ad in question is full of disgraceful Nazi imagery regardless of the film’s message and did not meet our guidelines.”