Fox News refused to air a 30-second advert for the Oscar-nominated short documentary A Night at The Garden, which warns of the threat of Nazism in the U.S., because it was deemed “inappropriate” for its audience, according to reports.
The Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday that the advertisement was originally purchased by the film’s distributor Field of Vision, through the Charter Communication’s Spectrum service, to air in the Los Angeles area.
The ad recounts a 1939 American Nazi that took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden shortly before the start of World War II. The spot ends with the tagline: “It can happen here.”
The ad also shows the moment 26-year-old Jewish man Isadore Greenbaum stormed the stage in front of the 20,000 German-American Bund supporters to interrupt a speech by the group’s leader, Fritz Kuhn. Greenbaum was beaten to the ground and dragged off stage.
Field of Vision purchased a national spot to air during Sean Hannity’s show but was rebuffed by the network, which controls national advertising.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
A Fox News national ad sales representative told the distributor’s media-buying agency on Wednesday that CEO Suzanne Scott (“our CEO”) said the ad was “not appropriate for our air,” according to email correspondence viewed by THR.
“The film shines a light on a time when thousands of Americans fell under the spell of a demagogue who attacked the press and scapegoated minorities using the symbols of American patriotism,” Night at the Garden director Marshall Curry said in a statement to THR.
He added, “It’s amazing to me that the CEO of Fox News would personally inject herself into a small ad buy just to make sure that Hannity viewers weren’t exposed to this chapter of American history.”
In a further statement to The Week, Marianne Gambelli, president for ad sales at Fox News, said the advert was rejected because it contains “disgraceful Nazi imagery regardless of the film’s message and did not meet our guidelines.”
The ad will still reportedly air locally in Los Angeles during Hannity on Thursday after the original ad was scrapped. The film’s distributor is still hoping to air the ad nationally on other cable networks, THR reports.
You can watch the full 7-minute Oscar-nominated film on Vimeo, below: