Report: Companies fly rainbows but still advertise on anti-LGBTQ outlets

Graphic courtesy of Media Matters for America

A report from watchdog group Media Matters found that despite support to LGBTQ for Pride month, some companies are still supporting anti-LGBTQ news coverage.

According to Media Matters’ research, companies like Procter and Gamble, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Illinois-based Abbott, Progressive Insurance, and others have run hundreds, if not thousands, of ads on Fox News so far this year. While never supportive of the LGBTQ community, Fox News this year has ramped up anti-LGBTQ reports, especially toward transgender athletes and children.

“In a year when we’ve seen a stark increase in legislative attacks on trans people and unprecedented anti-trans violence, we don’t need companies to change their profile pictures for Pride Month — what we need is for corporate America to put its money where its mouth is,” said Brianna January, senior researcher for Media Matters for America’s LGBTQ Program. “It’s despicable that the same companies trying to sell us rainbow logos and feel-good PR statements are also funding the anti-LGTBQ hatred of Fox News personalities like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.”

The group said that between President Joe Biden’s inauguration and March 18, Fox News aired 86 segments about trans people, primarily attacking youth and trans athletes. In fact, Fox aired more segments on trans athletes in the first three months of 2021, at 72, as it did in 2019 and 2020 combined.

According to Media Matters:

  • GlaxoSmithKline is Fox New’s largest corporate advertiser in Pride month. The company has run 1680 on Fox News in 2021, and 155 during June 2021. This comes even as GlaxoSmithKline posted Pride messages to its Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages.
  • General Motors has run more than 1680 ads on Fox News in 2021, including 24 in pride month. And yet, they took various steps to publicly assert themselves as allies, including changing their homepage to a Pride-themed image of a car that reads, “everybody in,” and posting on social media about Pride month. General Motors even touted their support for the Equality Act, which Fox News attacked in 18 segments in less than two months.

Illinois Eagle has reached out to Abbott but has not heard back by press time.