After a day of angry backlash, Fox News host Laura Ingraham apologized to Parkland student David Hogg on Thursday. Ingraham had tweeted a link to an article mocking Hogg, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, for being rejected from several colleges he applied to. The tweet sparked a wave of criticism and calls for companies to pull their ads from her show.
"Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA —incl.
@DavidHogg111. On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland," Ingraham tweeted. She added that Hogg had been on her show, The Ingraham Angle, to talk about the shooting last month.
"I believe my show was the first to feature David ... immediately after that horrific shooting and even noted how 'poised' he was given the tragedy," she added. "As always, he’s welcome to return to the show anytime for a productive discussion."
The apology on Twitter follows a day of sustained criticism on social media. On Wednesday, Ingraham had tweeted a link to a DailyWire story with the caption: "David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA...totally predictable given acceptance rates.)"
Hogg, who has emerged as one of the most prominent student activists from Parkland calling for gun control, responded to Ingraham by tweeting a list of advertisers for her show on Fox and calling for a boycott. By early Thursday, three companies had pulled ads from The Ingraham Angle, or were in the process of doing so: TripAdvisor, Wayfair, and Nutrish.
A spokesperson from TripAdvisor told CNBC in a statement that the company "does not condone the inappropriate comments" from Ingraham. "In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency," its statement added. "As such, we have made a decision to stop advertising on that program."
While Ingraham is no stranger to controversy, many critics took issue with her, an adult, mocking a high school student for his college rejections. The backlash was widespread, and lawmakers, fellow Parkland students, as well as celebrities came out in defense of Hogg.
This is far from the first time a Parkland student has been verbally attacked by a prominent conservative. In the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting, which killed 17 students and school staff, the school's survivors have become a force behind the gun control debate. Their activism has led to some conservatives likening them to Nazis, their images being doctored to misrepresent their movement calling for gun control, and to them being labeled "crisis actors," alongside many other debunked conspiracy theories about them and their intentions.
Hogg is one of the Parkland students behind the March for Our Lives, an event in Washington, D.C. that saw hundreds of thousands of people gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in support of stricter gun control. Hundreds of other sibling marches took place in the United States and across the world.
In his speech at the March For Our Lives, Hogg called for American voters to take their demands for comprehensive gun legislation to the ballot box, and gave a nod to the young people like him leading the advocacy for gun control.
"Now is the time to come together, not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans," he said. "Americans of the same flesh and blood, that care about one thing and one thing only, and that’s the future of this country and the children that are going to lead it."
At the time of her apology to Hogg, Ingraham's initial tweet mocking him has yet to be removed.