Laura Ingraham, a Fox News host, apologized under pressure on Thursday for taunting a survivor of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., as at least five companies confirmed they would pull advertising from her show.
The dispute began Wednesday when Ms. Ingraham shared an article about the student, David Hogg, 17, getting rejected from colleges and accused him of whining about it.
In response, Mr. Hogg, who has rapidly become a prominent advocate for gun-control policies, called on Ms. Ingraham’s advertisers to boycott her show. Five of the companies, TripAdvisor, Wayfair, Hulu, Nestle and Nutrish, said Thursday they would pull their ads. A sixth, Expedia, said it had recently pulled its advertising but declined to say when.
As news of the boycotts began coming out on Thursday, Ms. Ingraham apologized. “On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland,” she said, extending an invitation for Mr. Hogg to appear on the show.
Mr. Hogg said he was unimpressed by the apology.
“She only apologized after we went after her advertisers,” he said. “It kind of speaks for itself.”
Mr. Hogg said he has grown accustomed to being criticized, often ruthlessly. But to hear a prominent television host mock his college rejections was “extremely frustrating,” he said.
“I’m not going to stoop to her level and go after her on a personal level,” he said. “I’m going to go after her advertisers.”
Ms. Ingraham’s remarks went too far for TripAdvisor, which said it planned to stop advertising on the show and that it did not “condone the inappropriate comments made by this broadcaster.”
“We also believe Americans can disagree while still being agreeable, and that the free exchange of ideas within a community, in a peaceful manner, is the cornerstone of our democracy,” the company said through a spokesman. “In our view, these statements focused on a high school student cross the line of decency.”
Nutrish, a pet food brand owned by Rachael Ray, said it was “in the process of removing our ads from Laura Ingraham’s program.”
“The comments she has made are not consistent with how we feel people should be treated,” the company said.
Wayfair, an e-commerce company, said in a statement that it supports “open dialogue and debate on issues,” but that it would stop advertising on Ms. Ingraham’s show.
(Excerpt) Read More in: The New York Times