American Express has decided to suspend its relationship with Sky News over the channel’s recent interview with Australian right-wing activist Blair Cottrell, The Guardian wrote.
Amex is the first multinational company to have pulled its advertising from Sky News in the wake of the controversial interview that was aired on Sunday.
Last week, Labor politicians also expressed concern at the escalation of anti-immigrant rhetoric in the national media, after Melbourne’s Herald Sun published a nationally syndicated opinion piece that described suburbs with high Muslim, Jewish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian and Italian populations as examples of poor social cohesion.
“Australia is being swamped by non-English-speaking immigrants who refuse to assimilate and accept our values. In the face of this influx we’re losing our identity,” Sydney’ Daily Telegraph wrote in an article aptly titled “The Foreign Invasion.”
Labor MP Julian Hill, whose electorate covers three of the suburbs criticized in the article, said the government needed to show more leadership in fighting racist speech.
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria also slammed the article and lodged a complaint with the Australian Press Council.
On Sunday, Blair Cottrell, the former leader of anti-immigration group United Patriots Front, spoke with Sky News host Adam Giles to voice his views on immigration.
During the interview Cottrell urged the government to reduce immigration, protect the country against "foreign ideologies" and to "reclaim our traditional identity."
His statements invited an angry backlash from the audience with viewers calling in to say that last year Cottrell was convicted of inciting contempt of Muslims, and that he had previously said he wanted a portrait of Adolph Hitler in every classroom.
Other presenters at the network have been equally incensed by Cottrell’s comments.
On Monday, Sky said it was suspending the show, banning Cottrell from appearing again and announced a restructure of senior management.
However, Australians are becoming progressively more concerned about population growth and immigration rates with many saying that multiculturalism has failed and caused social division and dangerous extremism in Australia.
— The Cromwellian (@steviesteve3211) 1 августа 2018 г.