Tucker Carlson’s history of making misogynistic comments on air is under renewed scrutiny following his ouster from Fox News amid a lawsuit brought by a former producer who is accusing him of creating a hostile work environment. Media Matters has compiled a list of his sexist on-air commentary from his time at Fox.
Abby Grossberg claims that during her time on Carlson’s show she was “denied opportunities for promotion, and generally treated significantly worse than her male counterparts, even when those men were less qualified than her." Other misogynistic anecdotes from Grossberg’s suit include claims crude images of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were on display in the workplace and that prior to an interview with Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, Carlson staffers debated whether they’d rather have sex with her or opponent Gretchen Whitmer.
Carlson recently came under fire for texts, released during the Dominion lawsuit discovery phase, in which he called Trump lawyer Sidney Powell a “cunt” and other derogatory words.
On air, Carlson’s attitude toward women and survivors of sexual violence was derisive and hostile, often bleeding into outright mockery. This dynamic was particularly noticeable during the 2018 Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh. Carlson repeatedly attacked Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser, claiming that people suggest it’s “mandatory” to believe her “because she is a woman” and calling Ford’s memory as “reliable as a dream.” Carlson also used this time to belittle rape and sexual assault accusers by claiming survivors who don’t come forward are responsible for further assaults, comparing assault survivors to a “mob” of witchcraft accusers from The Crucible, and telling survivors it’s their “obligation” to report assault to the police.
Even prior to his time at Fox, on his MSNBC show Tucker, Carlson made sexist remarks, including claiming that Democrats “made up the concept of sexual harassment.”
In 2019, Media Matters uncovered an archive of weekly interviews Carlson gave to a Florida shock jock radio show between 2006 and 2011 during which he made numerous misogynistic and perverted comments. On Bubba The Love Sponge, Carlson repeatedly objectified one of his co-workers at MSNBC, describing her as “saucy and cute” as the radio hosts hosting him made vulgar remarks. He also referred to TV host Alexis Stewart as “cunty”, called journalist Ariana Huffington a “pig” and labeled Britney Spears and Paris Hilton “the biggest white whores in America.” During these interview, Carlson defended the actions of child predator Warren Jeffs, talked about young girls experimenting sexually and defended statutory rape.
Tucker Carlson’s rampant misogyny has been on display throughout his entire career on Fox News. Here are just some examples of his sexist comments and programming on Fox:
Remarks on sexual misconduct and domestic violence
- In May 2014, he said that men understand that getting sexually harassed by a female teacher is the “greatest thing that ever happened.”
- In June 2014, he said that it is “whiny” to report statutory rape and that an underage child “went and tattled” to law enforcement.
- In July 2016, he said that it “is embarrassing, getting beaten up by your girlfriend,” regarding male victims of domestic violence.
- In February 2017, he hosted a campus sexual assault denier on his show and asked, “So I have no doubt obviously sexual assault occurs on campus, and it's horrifying. But at what rate, is the question, and at what rate are people falsely accused?”
- In October 2017, he claimed that sexual assault is the only crime “where you would print the name of the accused but not of the accuser” and added that news organizations “only print half the story.”
- In June 2019, he shamed rape survivors who don’t immediately report the assault, asking, “Don't you have an obligation to the rest of our society to put that person behind bars?”
- In June 2019, he dismissed E. Jean Carroll’s report in a memoir that former President Donald Trump raped her, saying, “This is absurd. These aren’t serious statements from a rape victim. They are wacky soundbites from someone trying to sell a book.”
- In October 2019, he claimed that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was lying about being sexually harassed, saying, “When you reward people for victimhood, they pretend to be victims.”
- In December 2019, he asserted, “I don't think anything has changed our society more for the worse” than feminism.
- In January 2023, he whined to his audience that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was forced to resign because he was a white male. He claimed Cuomo, who was reported for sexual harassment by multiple women, did nothing wrong but stay in power too long.
Remarks attacking and objectifying specific women
- In November 2016, he said that then-Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is “the prettiest member of Congress,” and then asked, “What are her qualifications?”
- In December 2019, he called Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “an open bigot nihilist who's got no kids and, like, doesn't care at all about the country.”
- In December 2019, during Trump’s first impeachment, he attacked witness Pamela Karlan, calling her a “moron” who “needs a shrink.”
- In September 2020, he called Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) “probably the single slowest person ever to serve in the U.S. Senate.”
- In February 2022, he went on a sexist rant against Ocasio-Cortez, saying, “It makes you wonder what would happen if one day she gained 100 pounds and got eczema on her nose and forgot to trim her ear hair.”
- In January 2021, he described Vice President Kamala Harris as “the ex-girlfriend of Montel Williams” and claimed she “will be described that way forever after on this show.”
- In October 2014, he criticized a GOP effort to encourage young women to vote, asking, “Do you want your government run by people whose favorite show is Say Yes [To The Dress]?”
- In April 2016, he praised Trump’s sexist comments that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t get votes if she was a man as the “truest thing I’ve heard all year.”
- In June 2016, he asked, “Are women worse drivers? Has science weighed in on this?”
- In May 2017, he featured a New York Times story titled “The Gender Pay Gap Is Largely Because of Motherhood” and said that the Times “has finally admitted that the gender pay gap has nothing to do with sexism,” spinning the news as a victory and blaming the inequity on women’s career choices.
- In March 2018, during Women’s History Month, he said that the wage gap doesn’t exist and that men are the real victims. That same month, he parroted the sexist views of five of YouTube’s most extreme misogynists on his Fox show.
- In March 2018, he lamented the success of women on college campuses, claiming, “The patriarchy is gone, women are winning, men are failing.”
- In April 2018, he warned about “toxic femininity” after a shooting at YouTube’s headquarters.
- In April 2018, he warned against having too many women covering candidates who happen to be women, adding, “If Orrin Hatch was running for president, and like, 15 out of 17 reporters covering him were faithful Mormons, you would say ... that's kind of stacking the deck.'”
- In August 2018, he claimed that “it’s a sign of mental illness” to recognize the patriarchy.
- In January 2019, he said criticism of his misogyny is why we’re currently in a “dark age” and that it led to the end of science, art, comedy and creativity.
- In January 2019, he said when women make more money than men, that leads to “more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates.”
- In February 2019, he argued that the “ruling class” wants women to have access to abortions so they can enter the workforce: “So this is the real reason our elites so enthusiastically support abortion. It doesn’t set you free; it won’t make you happier. But it will make companies more profitable and that’s what matters most to them.”
- In April 2019, he asked, “How did we wind up with a country in which feminists do science?”
- In August 2021, he attacked pregnant military members in the U.S., claiming it is “so humiliating” and “serious people are laughing at us” for having pregnant people in the military.
- In March 2021, he degraded pregnant people serving in the military, calling changes to make the military more accessible to women “a mockery of the U.S. military.”
- In March 2022, he claimed that in prioritizing choosing a Black woman for the Supreme Court, President Joe Biden has “degraded” and “diminished” America.
- In July 2022, he blamed women “lecturing” men for mass shootings in America, stating, “A lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised?”
- In September 2022, he blamed women who have had abortions for causing “so much rage around this issue.”
- In March 2023, he blamed the failure of Silicon Valley Bank on “pioneering glass-ceiling-shattering women,” claiming the company was too busy focusing on diversity to do its banking job well.