Fox News host Tucker Carlson received immediate backlash on Twitter after saying Kyle Rittenhouse, who was arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the shootings of two protesters in Kenosha, Wis., “decided to maintain order when no one else would.”
“Are we really surprised this looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would? Everyone can see what was happening in Kenosha. It was getting crazier by the hour,” Carlson said on his show.
Video from Carlson’s Wednesday night Fox News broadcast went viral on Twitter, with many people speaking out against his comments and saying he should be fired.
Billy Eichner, Ike Barinholtz and Julie Klausner were among the entertainment-industry figures calling for Carlson to be fired.
John Cusack and Craig Mazin tweeted at several of the sponsors of Carlson’s show, saying that they should be boycotted unless they cut ties with the Fox News host.
“So @SurePayroll advertises on Tucker? Guess I know what I’m doing tonight. Shifting my payroll to another company that doesn’t support total f—ing assholes,” Mazin tweeted, while Cusack called out Disney, Hulu, Amazon, Sandals Resorts and Tivity Health.
Carlson’s comments came after NBA players boycotted their playoff games on Wednesday night, following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha over the weekend and several nights of protests.
Blake was shot seven times by a police officer on Sunday, leaving him paralyzed. Protests in several major cities against police violence have taken place this week. On Tuesday night, two people were shot and killed in Kenosha during the third night of unrest following the shooting. Rittenhouse was arrested and charged on Wednesday.
Asked for comment, a Fox News spokesperson referred to a tweet by Carlson:
The controversy is the latest for the Fox News host, who is a frequent critic of the Black Lives Matter movement. Last month, he took a leave of absence from the show after one of his top writers resigned after making racist and misogynistic posts online.
Other celebrities said Carlson was “advocating for murder” and “inciting violence” on air.