Judge Jeanine Pirro fans vow to boycott Fox News over bumped program

By Aimee Picchi

/ MoneyWatch

Trump defends Jeanie Pirro after show goes off-air

Fox News bumped Jeanine Pirro's "Justice with Judge Jeanine" on Saturday following a furor over anti-Muslim comments and advertiser defections, sparking an uproar from the program's fans. Many said they planned to boycott Fox News until Pirro's program returns to its airwaves.

Pirro has been under fire for anti-Muslim comments she made about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, leading to some advertiser defections. After Fox News scheduled a rerun to air instead of her show on Saturday, Pirro received support from President Donald Trump, who urged the network to "bring back" her show.

Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well. Fox …..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019

Controversy may draw viewers, but it can scare away advertisers wary of issues that may tarnish their brands and carefully crafted images. In Pirro's case, her show lost at least four major advertisers this month, including Botox-maker Allegan, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The losses come as another Fox News program, "Tucker Carlson Tonight," battled a boycott and some advertiser defections after it was disclosed he made racist and misogynistic comments in past "Bubba the Love Sponge" radio interviews.

The furor over Pirro was sparked when she questioned the loyalty of Muslims who wear hijabs or head coverings, as Omar does, in her March 9 program. "Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?" Pirro asked in her monologue.

Judge Jeanine Pirro suspended?

Fox News soon distanced itself from her comments, saying they did not reflect their views. On Saturday, it bumped her show in favor of a rerun of a documentary. According to The New York Times, Pirro has been formally suspended because of her comments. Fox News didn't immediately return a request for comment.

The decision to bump her program has sparked outrage among some Fox News fans, who are urging others to boycott the network until Pirro returns to the schedule.

"I am boycotting @FoxNews for blocking @JudgeJeanine from her show, for speaking truth! I encourage everyone to boycott ALL #FoxNews shows until she returns," one Twitter user wrote on Sunday.

I am boycotting @FoxNews for blocking @JudgeJeanine from her show, for speaking truth! I encourage everyone to boycott ALL #FoxNews shows until she returns.

— Todd N Sanderson (@viperBSG) March 17, 2019

Advertiser losses

Aside from Allergan, other advertisers pulling their support for the program include financial news site NerdWallet, pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and online marketplace LetGo, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The advertisers didn't immediately return a request for comment.

First published on March 18, 2019 / 11:49 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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