Fox News host Sean Hannity’s fans expressed discontent with sponsors who said their advertisements won’t appear during the anchor’s show following his controversial comments about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct with teenagers.
Hannity, one of Fox News’s top anchors since Bill O’Reilly’s ouster earlier this year, interviewed Moore last week following a Washington Post report that alleged Moore pursued romantic and sexual relationships with teenagers when he was in his 30s. Moore denied the accusations in the interview. Hannity had also suggested Moore “deserves the presumption of innocence” and that “none of us know the truth” about the allegations.
As a result, three sponsors — Keurig, Realtor.com and Eloquii — responded to Hannity’s critics saying they pulled their advertising from his show.
The news appeared to anger Hannity’s viewers, who started the #BoycottKeurig hashtag on social media to protest the company’s response to Hannity’s comments.
However, social media users who agreed with Keurig’s decision came out in force, tweeting that they would buy a Keurig machine and making jokes about similar boycott movements targeted at companies for making similar decisions in recent months.
While Hannity said Moore should leave the Senate race if allegations are true, he appeared to question the legitimacy of the accusations made in the Post story.
“Every single person in this country deserves the presumption of innocence,” Hannity said last week. “With the allegations against Judge Moore, none of us know the truth of what happened 38 years ago. The only people that would know are the people involved in this incident.”
Four women told the Post that Moore had made advances on them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. In once case, a woman said she met Moore when she was 14 years old and sitting outside a courthouse with her mother. When the mother went inside, Moore asked for the 14-year-old’s phone number and, in the days that followed, brought her to his home and kissed her. She said she visited his home a second time, where Moore undressed himself, took off her shirt and pants, and touched her over her underwear.
“These allegations are completely false and misleading,” Moore said on Hannity’s radio show last week.
On Saturday, he doubled down on his defense and questioned the timing of the accusations.
“I have not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone,” Moore said. “These allegations came only four and a half weeks before the general election on Dec. 12. Why now?”
Hannity’s reaction to the news is similar to those of other Republicans who have questioned the legitimacy of the claims at a time when women are coming forward with their stories of sexual assault and harassment at the hands of powerful men in numerous industries.
Representatives for Fox News and Keurig did not respond immediately to a request for comment from TIME.
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