After a long line of snubs and exclusions from MSNBC and a lack of speaking time at the Wednesday’s presidential debate, which the network hosted, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang decided to take a stand on Twitter. The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur revealed that he was invited onto the network over the weekend and told them he would do so only after they issue an on-air apology, discuss and include his campaign in a way that reflects his sixth-place polling ranking, and allow his campaign surrogates on — something he claims other candidates are allowed to do.
Yang followed up on his initial tweet not long after, highlighting that MSNBC has called him John Yang and given him less speaking time than lower-polling candidates across two debates.
“At some point you have to call it,” he tweeted, before suggesting that the exclusions could bode poorly for MSNBC.
“The whole time we have gotten stronger. This is actually bad for MSNBC. It will only get worse after I make the next debates and keep rising in the polls. The people are smarter than MSNBC would like to think.”
Not long after Yang’s stand, his supporters took to Twitter to push the “BoycottMSNBC” hashtag.
“#BoycottMSNBC because this is bigger than just @AndrewYang—outsider candidates have been suppressed by mainstream media for years. It’s straight up election interference. Ron Paul and ’16 Bernie people know. We are close to breaking through the corruption! It’s time!” one supporter tweeted.
“#BoycottMSNBC because we can stop media suppression of political candidates,” another wrote.
Political consultant Charles T. White previously addressed Yang’s exclusion from an MSNBC chyron, suggesting that such graphics are “LIES.” He claims to have created such chyrons for mainstream media outlets for “years” and likened the exclusion to election interference.
Per The New York Times, Yang spoke for six minutes and 48 seconds at Wednesday’s debate, which marks the fifth time in a row he has received the least amount of speaking time at a Democratic presidential debate. In comparison, Cory Booker, who is 11th in the polls, received 11 minutes and 32 seconds of speaking time, while Amy Klobuchar — ninth in the polls — received 10 minutes and 58 seconds of speaking time.
A previous Axios report noted the discrepancy between Yang’s polling and mentions on Twitter compared to the number of articles written about him and cable mentions he received. In addition, Rising WithThe Hill‘s Krystal Ball suggested that candidates like Yang — as well as other outsider candidates, such as Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson — are smeared, ignored, and dismissed because they “don’t fit the mold” and “defy the rules.”