Tucker Carlson is no longer part of Fox News’s primetime lineup of hosts, the company said in a statement.
The far right host, whose program often amplified false, right-wing conspiracy theories, has “parted ways” with the network, the company announced on Monday.
“Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st,” Fox News said in a statement. Until a replacement is found, the time slot that Carlson hosted will feature a “rotating” slate of personalities, the network added.
Details on why Carlson would no longer be part of the network were not immediately made clear, though Fox News said that his exit had been “agreed” upon, and thanked him “for his service to the network.”
The host’s departure seemed to be unexpected, as Carlson told his viewers on Friday that he would be “back on Monday,” a phrase he typically ended his show with each week.
“We’ll see you then,” he added, his last words broadcast live on the network.
Carlson’s exit comes less than a week after Fox News agreed to a $787.5 million settlement in a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems. The company alleged that Fox News hosts had allowed guests to make false claims about their voting machines affecting the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, completely uncontested.
In legal briefs in the lead-up to what would have been the civil trial involving Fox News, Dominion revealed that network personalities — including Carlson — had privately admitted to knowing that the claims of election fraud were false.
It’s currently unknown if Carlson’s comments relating to election fraud were the catalyst for his departure. A person with knowledge of his exit told The Washington Post that the decision was related to comments he made about the company.
Many have speculated that Carlson’s exit from Fox News was not an amicable one.
“Given the separation is effective immediately, and Carlson has no formal opportunity to say goodbye, the exit does not appear to be on entirely good terms,” The New Republic’s Prem Thakker wrote in a column on Monday.
Carlson has worked with Fox News in some capacity since 2009, and has hosted a primetime spot on the network since 2016. He has frequently used his platform to promote false and misleading talking points, oftentimes based on far right conspiracy theories; recently, for example, after receiving exclusive security camera recordings of the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol building, Carlson selectively aired portions of the footage to portray the attack as nonviolent.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described Carlson as “not credible” when his segment aired.
There are numerous other examples of falsehoods that Carlson has promoted on his show, according to reporting from PolitiFact, including:
- Claiming at the start of November 2022 that the U.S. would be out of diesel fuel by the Thanksgiving holiday;
- Stating that federal agents had incited people to attack the U.S. Capitol;
- Saying, with confidence, that election fraud had been found in Fulton County, Georgia, when no such fraud had occurred;
- And claiming that thousands of people had died from COVID-19 vaccines in the first six months of the vaccine’s rollout.
All of these assertions received a “false” rating from PolitiFact.
Carlson also peddled white supremacist conspiracy theories on his program, promoting, for example, the “Great Replacement Theory,” which wrongly purports that there is a conspiracy to replace white people in the U.S. by allowing nonwhite refugees and migrants to enter the country more easily.
It’s currently unclear whether the majority of Americans view Carlson’s departure from the network positively or negatively. However, when host Whoopi Goldberg announced on ABC’s “The View” program that Carlson was leaving Fox News, the audience broke out into applause.
The hosts then led the audience in chanting, “Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye.”