Fox News host Laura Ingraham is taking a break. But is it a coincidence or is Ingraham's hiatus from her show related to the advertiser boycott currently brewing over her comments about a Parkland student? Ingraham announced she'd be taking a week off from her show Friday, citing plans for an Easter break with her family. Her absence, however, comes after intense public backlash spurred a number of advertisers to withdraw their ads from her show after she mocked Parkland student survivor David Hogg for not getting in to the colleges he'd applied to.
"I'll be off next week for Easter break with my kids," Ingraham told viewers Friday. "But fear not, we've got a great lineup of guest hosts to fill in for me."
Ingraham framed her absence as a preplanned family vacation, and a Fox News spokesperson confirmed the vacation had been planned in advance. However, it comes as more than a dozen advertisers pull their ads from her show, Ingraham Angle. According to Yahoo News, at least 15 companies have dropped out as advertisers on Ingraham's show after Hogg called on his supporters to urge Ingraham's advertisers to boycott her show. Those include Nutrish, TripAdvisor, Wayfair, Nestle, Hulu, Expedia, Stitch Fix, Office Depot, Jenny Craig, the Atlantis Paradise Island resort, Johnson & Johnson, Honda, Liberty Mutual, Progressive insurance, and Principal investment group.
Hogg responded to news of Ingraham's upcoming Easter break by encouraging her to make time for reflection. "Have some healthy reflections this Holy Week," the Parkland school shooting survivor tweeted Saturday. He reiterated that message in a statement to the New York Daily News, saying, "I hope she uses this time to reflect not only on how she treated me but so many others like the students at Dartmouth or even people like Lebron James." In an earlier interview, Hogg had reportedly told the news outlet that he "would love to see [Ingraham] go."
Earlier this week, Ingraham had mocked Hogg's rejection from four University of California campuses on Twitter and accused him of whining. "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.)," the Fox host tweeted March 28 along with a link to a conservative outlet's news story. In response, Hogg tweeted a list of 12 of Ingraham's top advertisers and asked his supporters to contact those companies about boycotting the Fox host.
Ingraham later apologized as advertisers began to distance themselves from her and her show. "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," she tweeted. She added that "any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA — incl. @DavidHogg111."
But Hogg rejected that apology, tweeting that "an apology in an effort just to save your advertisers is not enough." He called on Ingraham to "denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight."
Hogg is one of a handful of student survivors who, in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, have gone on to become outspoken activists in a student-led gun control movement. Seventeen people were killed Feb. 14 when a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. According to the gun-control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, the country has seen nearly 300 school shootings since 2013, which averages out to roughly one shooting per week.
In the aftermath of the deadly shooting, Hogg co-founded Never Again MSD with fellow Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky. The student-run advocacy group aims to lobby for stricter gun control and recently helped organize the March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C.
Editor's note: This article was updated on April 1 to include comment from a Fox News spokesperson.