×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Senator Urges Rupert Murdoch to Drop Coverage of NRA 500 NASCAR Event

Connecticut's Chris Murphy calls racing event a 'celebration of guns' and urges News Corp. topper to follow through on gun statements

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is asking News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch to abandon Fox Sports’ coverage this weekend of the The NRA 500, calling the NASCAR racing event a “celebration of guns.”

Murphy cited the race’s sponsorship by the National Rifle Assn., as well as a feature of the event that includes the live shooting of guns. The race on Saturday also takes place as the Senate debates legislation to expand background checks of gun buyers.

“This celebration of guns is inappropriate in the immediate wake of the Newtown massacre,” Murphy wrote. “But most importantly, broadcasting this race, which will highlight the NRA and its radical agenda during this time, sends a harmful signal to the families affected by gun violence, as well as the millions of Americans who support sensible gun control measures and enjoy your sports programming.”

After the Newtown tragedy, Murdoch called for President Obama to take “bold leadership” on gun proposals, and the media mogul expressed support for a ban on assault weapons, noting that measures were passed in his native Australia after a shooting rampage. Murphy noted Murdoch’s gun control support in his letter, pleading, “By airing this race you will be strengthening the brand of a radical organization that is currently standing in the way of meaningful progress on this issue.”

Murphy went so far as to write that Fox’s showing of the race also would constitute its acceptance of the NRA’s views. “Given that you have been outspoken in your support of gun reform, it is the height of irony that some would perceive that your company would now essentially endorse the NRA’s extreme position against such laws by broadcasting this event,” he wrote.

Last month, Murphy wrote a letter to the CEO of NASCAR, Brian France, protesting the circuit’s connection to the event.

But Fox is under contract to show the race, and the naming rights to the event were arranged by the Texas Motor Speedway.

The broadcast networks, including Fox, refuse to take advertisements for guns and ammunition, and after the Newtown tragedy, Comcast Cable and Time Warner Cable said that they would not accept such spots as part of their inventory.

A spokesman for Fox declined to comment.

More Biz

  • CENTRAL PARK FIVE

    Netflix and Ava DuVernay Sued by Police Interrogation Firm

    The company behind a controversial police interrogation technique filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against Netflix and director Ava DuVernay, claiming that it was defamed in DuVernay’s miniseries on the Central Park jogger case. John E. Reid and Associates developed the Reid Technique in the late 1940s, and it has continued to offer training materials [...]

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger'Terminator: Dark Fate' film panel,

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Trades CAA for UTA

    Arnold Schwarzenegger has departed his former agency CAA and signed with UTA, which will represent the global superstar and two-time Governor of California in all areas. Schwarzenegger, whose films have grossed more than $4.7 billion worldwide, is set to reprise his celebrated role in the “Terminator” franchise, starring in “Terminator: Dark Fate.” He will also [...]

  • Patrick Moran

    Former ABC Studios Head Patrick Moran Signs Amazon Overall Deal

    Patrick Moran has signed an overall deal with Amazon, Variety has learned. The news comes around three months after it was announced that Moran would be exiting his role as president of ABC Studios following restructuring in the wake of the Disney-21st Century Fox merger. Under his new deal, Moran will work with Amazon Studios to [...]

  • Pamela Adlon

    Pamela Adlon Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Multi-hyphenate Pamela Adlon has signed with CAA for representation, Variety has learned exclusively. Due to the ongoing dispute between the Writers Guild and the talent agencies, however, CAA will not be representing Adlon for writing. In addition to writing, Adlon is an actress, producer, and director. She continues to be repped by Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Talent Agent Joseph Eric Rice Dies at 61

    Joseph Eric Rice, a talent agent who headed JR Talent Group, died unexpectedly at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 61. Rice headed his own talent agency based in Studio City where he primary handled actors. Earlier in his career, he headed the theatrical department at Abrams Artists Agency. Rice was born in [...]

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

  • Santos Dumont

    Mipcom: International TV Output Picture Changing for U.S. Majors

    The global import-export strategies of the U.S. majors are in flux as the world’s major content companies gather this week in Cannes for the annual Mipcom market and conference. Disney, WarnerMedia and the other handful of media conglomerates that control the vast majority of the U.S. market are in the midst of a radical transition [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content