David Hogg, a survivor from the Parkland shooting and leading advocate in the “Never Again Movement”, and high school senior, posted on his social media in March that despite his 4.1 G.P.A he had not been accepted to the colleges of his choice.
Laura Ingraham, host of the Fox News Show “The Ingraham Angle,” took time to publicly humiliated Hogg on her own social media when she read his original post.
“David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA…totally predictable given acceptance rates.)”
Many people were extremely disappointed and surprised by Ingraham’s behavior. Her comments were not educated nor necessary and were an act of online bullying.
Luckily, David Hogg felt the same way. He did not let Laura get away with her comments. Instead of sitting back and feeling bad about himself, or starting a firey fight with words, Hogg took matters into his own hands.
Within the same day, Hogg tweeted out a call for help. He made a list of companies that used Ingraham’s show for advertisement and asked his followers to contact them and request that they boycott advertisement and pull their ads.
Not 24 hours later Ingraham tweeted an apology to Hogg.
“Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA —incl. @DavidHogg111. On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland. For the record, I believe my show was the first to feature David…”
However, the damage had already been done. Since Hogg called for a advertisement boycott, 11 companies have pulled their ads from Ingraham’s show with no hopes to return them.
Here’s a list of the companies:
- Atlantis Bahamas
- Jenny Craig
- Johnson & Johnson
- Liberty Mutual
- Stitch Fix
Many of the companies that pulled their support also released statements expressing their dislike for the events that occurred.
Atlantis Bahamas said, “Although we are an organization that believes in freedom of expression, we do not condone discrimination, bullying, mockery or harmful behavior of any kind. As a result of these events, we have decided to remove all brand advertising tied to the program.”
TripAdvisor also stated that they did not, “condone the inappropriate comments made by this broadcaster. In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency. As such, we have made a decision to stop advertising on that program.”
I believe that online bullying should never be tolerated. Perpetrators are brave behind the screen of social media and rarely recognize the damage their actions may cause. Online bullying leads to unnecessary hurt and shame to the victim and can result in poor self esteem and unhealthy behavior. I am proud of David Hogg for stepping up and calling out Ingraham as a bully instead of shying away. Together we can reduce bullying and maintain an online environment that is informed, respectful and wholesome.