The Fox Soul channel announced on June 29 the network will no longer be broadcasting Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s address on July 4.
Fox Soul had initially announced on June 25, “LIVE ON FOX SOUL: THE CRITERION THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN WILL DELIVER HIS MESSAGE to AMERICA ON JULY 4th.”
Jewish groups condemned Fox Soul for planning to broadcast a Farrakhan speech.
“Louis Farrakhan, a notorious #antisemite & #homophobe, inexplicably continues to get airtime. He repeatedly elevates hateful conspiracies,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted. “He has called Jews ‘termites’ and the #LGBTQ+ community ‘degenerates.’ He deserves condemnation, not exposure.”
Louis Farrakhan, a notorious #antisemite & #homophobe, inexplicably continues to get airtime. He repeatedly elevates hateful conspiracies. He has called Jews “termites” and the #LGBTQ+ community “degenerates.” He deserves condemnation, not exposure. pic.twitter.com/ab6S1fmhoO
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) June 29, 2020
Simon Wiesenthal Center founder and dean Rabbi Marvin Hier and associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper urged Fox Soul to cancel its broadcast of Farrakhan.
“Since the 1980s, Louis Farrakhan has denigrated the Jewish people, Judaism, and the Jewish State, members of the LGBTQ community, the United States of America, and entertainment leaders from Hollywood,” Hier and Cooper said. “Throughout those decades, he has embraced America’s enemies, from Libya’s Ghaddafi to Iran’s Ayatollahs.”
They said there have been various other Black leaders who gave addresses of unity on July 4, but “Farrakhan is a racist, anti-Semite — a demagogue and divider.”
“On behalf of our 400,000 constituent families, we urge Fox Television Network to cancel the speech by a person who has spent his adult life spitting on everything July 4th stands for,” Hier and Cooper added.
StandWithUs Israel executive director Michael Dickson similarly tweeted, “One thing you’ll never get cancelled for: inciting Jew-hatred. But giving this platform to the bigoted Farrakhan is disgusting.”
One thing you’ll never get cancelled for: inciting Jew-hatred.
But giving this platform to the bigoted Farrakhan is disgusting. https://t.co/hAHbmTJDyA
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) June 29, 2020
CNN’s Jake Tapper also weighed in, tweeting: “Farrakhan is a vile anti-LGBTQ, anti-Semitic misogynist. Why is a Fox channel airing his propaganda?”
Farrakhan is a vile anti-LGBTQ anti-Semitic misogynist. Why is a Fox channel airing his propaganda? https://t.co/dmX7A6LSd2
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 29, 2020
Actor and rapper Ice Cube, born O’Shea Jackson, defended Farrakhan in a tweet responding to Tapper.
“Watch your mouth Jake,” Ice Cube tweeted. Ice Cube has previously posted tweets that have been criticized as anti-Semitic.
Watch your mouth Jake. https://t.co/DqTOr24Yb6
— Ice Cube (@icecube) June 29, 2020
On June 29, Fox Soul announced on Twitter that it would be airing a compilation of Black leaders’ speeches instead of showing the Farrakhan broadcast.
— foxsoultv (@foxsoultv) June 29, 2020
Jewish groups praised Fox Soul for the change.
Cooper said in a statement that Fox Soul’s decision not to broadcast Farrakhan’s address was “a victory against hate and for unity and mutual respect for all Americans.”
Fox Soul describes itself on its website as “a new live and interactive streaming channel dedicated to the African American viewer. The programs aim to celebrate black culture and deal with real topics that impact the everyday lives of the black community through frank and insightful dialogue with local and national influencers.”
This article has been updated.