NBC is pulling an ad it aired over the weekend from its networks following a backlash.
The 30-second ad, approved by President Donald Trump, aired during the “Sunday Night Football” game between the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers.
“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” an NBC spokesman told Business Insider.
Fox News has also pulled the ad. “Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” Marianne Gambelli, the president of Fox’s ad sales, said in a statement to Business Insider.
CNN previously deemed the ad too racist to air, issuing a statement on Twitter on Saturday: “CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts.”
The primetime ad attempted to draw a connection between Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who was convicted of killing two Sacramento deputies in 2014, and the so-called migrant caravan now traveling up through Mexico toward the US border. There is no known connection.
Besides “Sunday Night Football,” the ad also aired on MSNBC, Fox News, and Fox Business, according to the analyst Rich Greenfield, who cited figures from iSpot.tv. MSNBC aired the ad three times, Fox News ran it six times, and Fox Business ran it eight times, according to Greenfield.
NBC quickly drew the ire of some in Hollywood who noted the difference in NBC’s and CNN’s treatment of the ad.
“So @nbc and @Comcast aired that racist Trump caravan commercial during the football game,” the director Judd Apatow tweeted on Sunday night. “Who made that decision? How did they decide it was ok? I am disgusted that you would air that after @cnn refused to air it because it is explicitly racist. Shame on you. @NBCNews.”
The actress Debra Messing, who is starring in NBC’s revival of “Will and Grace,” also condemned the ad in a tweet, saying to fans of the show: “I want you to know that I am ashamed that my network aired this disgusting racist ad. It is the antithesis of everything I personally believe in, and what, I believe, our show is all about.”
A 53-second version of the ad was released on Trump’s Twitter account last week accompanied with the words “It is outrageous what the Democrats are doing to our Country. Vote Republican now!”
Trump has frequently used the migrant caravan, a group of several thousand Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries, as a talking point to stoke fears about immigration in the US. The caravan is hundreds of miles from the border.