×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox News Host Eboni K. Williams on Receiving Death Threats After Segment Criticizing Trump

Eboni K. Williams had never received anything like the responses she garnered after she aired her grievances with President Trump while on-air on “The Fox News Specialists.”

The co-host addressed Trump on Monday in her “Eboni’s Docket” segment, which she writes herself, berating him for failing to specify white nationalist groups in his condemnation of the violence that occurred at Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. She told Variety in an interview on Wednesday that her personal website, which usually receives an average of 10-15 emails after each segment, was inundated with over 150 emails, only three of which were anything other than “seething, scathing” takedowns.

“I should meet my maker soon, I shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets of New York,” she cited as some examples of the type of comments she received. “They heard that I live in Harlem — Harlem needs to watch out.” Her book publisher became so concerned that he asked her to request additional security from Fox News, which she did — Williams is now escorted to and from the building when she arrives to work. Her book, “Pretty Powerful: Appearance, Substance, and Success,” is available next month.

Williams explained that the typical responses she gets from Fox News viewers, while sometimes disagreeing with her views, often praise her ability to formulate her arguments and present them on-air, which is what makes this week’s digression so shocking for her. She chalked up the new level of vitriol directed at her as partly due to President Trump’s “tacit compliance” of violent political rhetoric, which she said was apparent in his Tuesday morning retweet — now deleted — of an image of a train running over someone with the CNN logo edited in over them.

“When you don’t speak out and condemn, that’s tacit compliance in my book,” she said. “So whether President Trump approves of it actually, or actually wants it, I think is irrelevant because what we know is that these people think they are acting on behalf of the President of the United States.” She added that the retweet was “typical and unfortunately expected” and that while it is protected free speech, it does little to help the situation.

“It flies in the face of what I hoped would be a better day post-Congressman Steve Scalise’s shooting, where for two seconds, everybody said, ‘Let’s do better, let’s do better, we can disagree, but let’s stop with the violent political rhetoric,’ and, really, what becomes violent political action.”

Williams reiterated her “Docket” belief that Trump’s supporters will never turn on him, and added that she thinks that’s where his power to call out the behavior that resulted in Heather Heyer’s death lies. “I truly believe what he said, that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and they will stand by him,” she said. “So I think that empowers him to actually forcefully reject and speak directly to the fears and the anger that’s driving this level of violence and white supremacy and Nazism, I think he can actually speak it down in an aggressive way and they will still support him.”

Williams is a registered independent and voted for Obama, who she has nevertheless openly criticized in the past. Williams compared Obama’s stance on violence in Chicago to Trump’s stance now. “While I think President Obama was uniquely positioned as a black man and the leader of the free world in that moment to speak to those black males in Chicago in a way I would have better appreciated, it’s a similar thing with President Trump right now,” she said. “He’s a white male that represents…the patriarchal, white male dominant structure, so he could speak to white America in a way that Obama never could.”

Many of Williams’ critics took issue with their perception that she didn’t address the role of the counter-protesters in the violence that occurred at Charlottesville in her “Docket” speech. “I don’t think they were at fault because they didn’t drive a car into a crowd of people and kill Heather Heyer,” Williams said. “That was one individual that self-identified as a white nationalist and Nazi. To even have an analysis beyond that is irresponsible.” 

More TV

  • Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania

    Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania Competition Contender ‘Eden’

    LILLE, France — “I must down to the seas again,” Amaré, an teen African illegal immigrant, reads aloud in a poetry lesson at a refugee center near the beach in Greece. Thoughts of wander-lust seen comically out of place. Amaré has just been seen in the prolog to “Eden” leaping out of a dinghy beaching [...]

  • John Simm Talks ‘Cold Courage' as

    John Simm Talks ‘Cold Courage' as Lionsgate Boards International Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Simm plays a rabble-rousing populist politician in “Cold Courage,” and Lionsgate has stepped up and taken international rights to the series. Based on the series of novels by Pekka Hiltunen, the drama is billed as the biggest yet out of Finland and will bow on the Viaplay streaming service in Scandinavia. With a cast [...]

  • "Raven's Home" Executive Producer, Eunetta Boone.

    Eunetta Boone, Showrunner and Creator of 'One on One,' Dies at 63

    Writer-producer Eunetta Boone, creator of the UPN comedy “One on One” and showrunner of Disney Channel’s “Raven’s Home,” died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 63. Boone was found dead at her home of an apparent heart attack. Boone had most recently worked as showrunner on the third season of the Disney [...]

  • Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Series

    Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Starring Dominic West Ahead of Series Mania

    The BBC and Masterpiece adaptation of “Les Miserables” will play on a numerous international channels after a raft of deals were sealed for the series, which features Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins. Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic has been acquired by broadcasters in Scandinavia and southern Europe, and by several buyers [...]

  • Kevin Hart

    TV News Roundup: Kevin Hart Netflix Comedy Special Drops First Trailer

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases the official trailer for the comedy special “Kevin Hart: Irresponsible” and Josh Charles joins Showtime’s Roger Ailes series “The Loudest Voice.” DATES Season two of “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner, will premiere on Paramount Network on June 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The sophomore season will continue the story of rancher John Dutton [...]

  • adidas game of thrones

    5 New 'Game of Thrones' Collaborations Coming in Time for the Final Season

    Some of the biggest lifestyle brands in the world are jumping on the “Game of Thrones” bandwagon this spring, hoping to capitalize on the fandom and popularity of the HBO hit, as it enters its eighth and final season. From sneakers to spirits, these officially-licensed collaborations extend the characters and colors of the show beyond [...]

  • Nicole Richie

    Nicole Richie Joins Fox Comedy Pilot 'Richard Lovely'

    Nicole Richie has been cast in a series regular role in the Fox single-cam comedy pilot “Richard Lovely.” The project follows Richard Lovely (Thomas Lennon), the disgruntled author of the best-selling children’s book series, “Mr. Mouse.” He doesn’t hate children, but rather just everything about them. After a publicity fiasco involving an unexpectedly savvy 9-year-old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content