Hollywood's backlash against Fox News: Producers and directors including Seth MacFarlane and Judd Apatow attack 20th Century Fox over 'evil' and 'disgusting' coverage of border crisis
- Steve Levitan said he would not be renewing a TV deal with 20th Century Fox
- He later backed down, but was joined in outrage by Seth MacFarlane and others¬†
- Fox News anchor¬†said immigration detention centers 'essentially summer camps'
Some of Hollywood's most powerful producers and directors have spoken out against 20th Century Fox in the wake of Fox News' coverage of the border crisis.¬†¬†
Steve Levitan announced he would no longer be renewing a deal for Modern Family with the firm after Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham's controversial comment Monday about immigration detention centers.
He later backed down, but was joined in his outrage by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane,¬†'Bridesmaids' director Paul Feig and prolific filmmaker Judd Apatow, the producer behind movies and TV shows such as 'Girls' and 'Trainwreck'.
Levitan was joined in his outrage by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane (right), 'Bridesmaids' director Paul Feig and prolific filmmaker Judd Apatow (left), the producer behind movies and TV shows such as 'Girls' and 'Trainwreck'
Modern Family Co-Creator Steve Levitan announced he will be cutting ties with 20th Century Fox amid Fox News host Laura Ingraham controversy.¬†Levitan is seen above on September 15, 2016 in West Hollywood, California
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane lashed out at a statement by Fox News host Tucker Carlson
Ingraham said during her segment on The Ingraham Angle: 'As more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents.
'And temporarily housed at what are, essentially, summer camps.'¬†
The Modern Family co-creator and executive producer took to social media Tuesday to say he would be cutting ties with the broadcasting company, which produced the show that currently airs on ABC.
'I look forward to seeing #ModernFamily through to the end and then, sale or no sale, setting up shop elsewhere,' Levitan wrote on Twitter.¬†¬†
The comedy producer's agent, Jay Sures, however, released a statement on behalf of Levitan, in which he backtracked his furious remarks later Tuesday.
Levitan posted a series of tweets in which he slammed Fox News and announced he¬†would not be renewing a TV deal with 20th Century Fox for Modern Family
The statement read: 'I have great respect and admiration for Dana Walden, Gary Newman, Peter Rice and everyone at 20th Century Fox TV studio who have all treated me so well for almost two decades.
'For now, I will take some time to see where these people land, and at that point I will make a decision about my future.'
Over the weekend, Levitan re-tweeted a post by executive producer of Fox shows Orville and Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane.
In the tweets, the pair slammed¬†the network and expressed their embarrassment over recent irresponsible remarks made on-air.
'Let me officially join @SethMacFarlane in saying I'm disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews,' Levitan wrote Monday.
'This bulls**t is the opposite of what #ModernFamily stands for.'
He also said in part: 'Conspiracy theories and Trump's lies gets harder to swallow every day as I drive onto that lot to make a show about inclusion.'¬†
Ingraham has come under fire after calling immigration detention centers for children 'essentially summer camps'
The inside of a dormitory at the Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas
Children were seen sleeping side-by-side in a cell inside the McAllen detention center, where one teen says she has been changing a baby's diaper, who she doesn't know, because the baby was separated from her family
MacFarlane had slammed Fox News political commentator Tucker Carlson Saturday over his statement to viewers about Fox News rivals.¬†
Tucker said: 'If you're looking to understand what's actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they're telling you on the big news stations.'¬†
MacFarlane tweeted in response: 'In other words, don't think critically, don't consult multiple news sources, and in general, don't use your brain.
'Just blindly obey Fox News. This is fringe s***, and it's business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.'¬†
Apatow called on more of those who work with or for Fox to speak out.
'Imagine if it was your kids. Who has a movie, TV show, sporting event, news show at Fox? How can you remain silent when they promote these policies?,' Apatow tweeted on Monday.
Feig wrote on Twitter that while he loved those working in the movie and TV divisions of Fox, 'I too cannot condone the support their news division promotes toward the immoral and abusive policies and actions taken by this current administration toward immigrant children.'¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
Levitan also followed up with more tweets - one in which he criticized conservative commentator Ann Coulter for her remark that said migrant kids are 'child actors.'
He wrote: 'This folks, is the face of pure evil.'¬†
In the business world, Jamie Dimon - the chief executive of JP Morgan - said separating parents from children at the border is 'cruel' and 'contrary to American values'.
The US Chamber of Commerce also condemned the policy, saying: 'It must end now'.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
Children can be seen walking single file as they are shown their new homes in these 'tent cities' for separated families¬†¬†
Ingraham has come under fire after more and more photos of these detention shelters have been released. Pictured is the Tornillo facility
The Tornillo facility is seen in this photo provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas
On Monday, Ingraham's words horrified many after pictures were released on-air showing immigrant children lined up in a series of cages created by metal fencing at the centers.
Ingraham afterward tried to retract the statements toward the end of the show, responding to the backlash on social in real time.
'Apparently there are a lot of people very upset because we referred to some of the detention facilities tonight as essentially like summer camps,' Ingraham said.
'The San Diego Union-Tribune today described the facilities as essentially like what you would expect at a boarding school. So I will stick to there are some of them like boarding schools.'¬†
Fox News also released a statement regarding the controversy, saying that Ingraham's 'very personal, on-the-ground commitment to the plight of impoverished and abandoned children‚ÄĒspecifically in Guatemala‚ÄĒ speaks for itself'.¬†¬†
'So too does her strong belief in a commonsense, legal immigration system, which will continue to be a focus of her show,' the statement added.¬†
'FOX News will never tolerate or give in to attempts to silence diverse viewpoints by agenda-driven intimidation efforts.'¬†¬†
The San Diego Union-Tribune¬†article Ingraham mentioned states that the facilities 'seem like what one would expect from a boarding school' with 'classrooms, a play area with soccer goals and a medical clinic with superheroes like Wonder Woman, Superman and the Hulk on the walls.'
The story goes on to state though that 'on closer inspection, details about the California-licensed child care facility run by Southwest Key Programs reflect the situation of the children it serves,' noting the 'fencing that is backed by privacy netting' and a sign noting that the facility is 'under video surveillance 24 hours per day.'
Kate Morrissey, the author of the story, did not personally comment on Ingraham's comment - but did re-tweet two people who said the Fox News host misrepresented the piece.
'It only took a quick Google search to debunk @LauraIngraham on the¬†@sdut story that she says called detention center like summer camp. @bgirledukate was saying that looks were deceiving,' wrote Jeremy Borden in a post that was retweeted by Morrisey.
She also retweeted Stephen Singer, who wrote: 'She also incorrectly says the San Diego Union Tribune compared it to a boarding school. Might want to read the entire news story beyond the lede.'¬†
After the Tribune comment, Ingraham made an abrupt shift and began to speak about adoption.
'And I suggest that a lot of the folks who are worried about that spend more time in Central America. I have. And we should make adoption easier for American couples who want to adopt these kids who are true candidates for adoption because our policies don't allow that,' she said.¬†
'So let's put our hearts out there for the kids in the right way. Take care of them the right way. Open your hearts and your homes to them.'
Many on Twitter expressed outrage at Ingraham's claims, including Parkland survivor Dave Hogg - a frequent critic of the Fox News host
One particular photo showed 20 children lying on dark green mats inside a cage, only covered by thin emergency space blankets.¬†
Another shows children in a single-file line sitting next to one another.
Many on Twitter expressed outrage at Ingraham's claims, including Parkland survivor Dave Hogg - a frequent critic of the Fox News host.¬†
'Laura Ingraham, like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, would happily defend genocide if the Trump administration asked them to do so,' he wrote.
Author Anthony Breznican joked: 'Laura Ingraham isn't going to hell. She's going to an intense sauna.'
Other commenters expressed confusion at Ingraham's vision about summer camps.
'Ah yes, who else remembers singing kum ba yah, roasting marshmallows, cage living, and a friendly game of let's never see your mommy and daddy again,' Danny Deraney wrote.
Another joked about what a summer camp would look like if it was run by Ingraham.¬†
'Your child will learn how to properly fold a foil emergency blanket and how to decorate the inside of a cage,' JD Durkin quipped.¬†
'Sign up now for a special lesson in basketball dribbling and mocking school shooting survivors. Act fast,' he added, quoting Ingraham's recent controversies with Hogg and NBA star Lebron James.¬†¬†
Many of these tent cities are surrounded by metal fences, as pictured here at the Tornillo facility in Texas
On Friday, it was revealed that nearly 2,000 children were separated from adults at the border between mid-April and the end of May. Pictured is the Tornillo facility¬†¬†
Anne Chandler, the director of the Houston office of Tahirih Justice Center said she's spoken with several parents who said they were told their children were going to get a bath before they were separated
The audio was released just a day after it was revealed border agents have been telling illegal immigrant parents that they are taking their children 'for a bath' before separating them
On Friday, it was revealed that nearly 2,000 children were separated from adults at the border between mid-April and the end of May. Those children (pictured) are now living in detention centers along the US-Mexico border
Other photos show children in single-file lines and sitting next to one another like 'caged-animals'
Christopher Baker, 3, holds a sign that reads 'Which baby deserves to sleep in a cage?' as he attends a Poor People's Campaign rally with his mother, Katie Baker, behind the sign at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington¬†
About 1,100 illegal immigrants (pictured) are being held at McAllen detention center in crowded conditions, including children who have been separated from their families
The McAllen facility is reportedly where more kids are separated from their parents than anywhere else in the US
Beds at the Casa San Diego, a shelter for children of detained migrants, are seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in San Diego
The kitchen at Casa San Diego, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in San Diego
Others called on the public to boycott Ingraham - while some challenged the Fox News host to send her own children to the detention centers.¬†¬†¬†
'Great @IngrahamAngle - sounds like a fun summer plan for YOUR kids. Send them down to the detention camps - maybe one of those fancy tents - and you can just stay home and work,' wrote Amy Siskind.¬†
In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a 'zero tolerance' policy in which all those apprehended entering the US illegally, including those seeking asylum, would be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents.
On Friday, it was revealed that nearly 2,000 children were separated from adults at the border between mid-April and the end of May.¬†
Those children are now living in detention centers along the US-Mexico border.¬†
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