Tucker Carlson has received a cease-and-desist letter from Fox News as he intensifies his efforts to launch a rival series on Twitter. The first two episodes of his show on the platform garnered a total of 169 million views.
The contractual dispute between Fox and its former leading host, who was removed from the air in April following the network's significant settlement with Dominion, carries broad implications for the conservative media landscape, Axios reports.
“Fox News continues to ignore the interests of its viewers, not to mention its shareholder obligations,” Harmeet Dhillon, one of Carlson’s lawyers, said in a statement. “Doubling down on the most catastrophic programming decision in the history of the cable news industry, Fox is now demanding that Tucker Carlson be silent until after the 2024 election."
“Tucker will not be silenced by anyone,” she added.
The news of the cease-and-desist letter was first reported by Axios, with sources familiar with the matter confirming that all the details in the Axios report were accurate.
Fox News general counsel Bernard Gugar sent a letter to Tucker Carlson's legal team last week, which did not explicitly request him to cease posting videos on Twitter. However, Gugar stated that the former prime-time host is "in breach" of his contractual agreement with the network. The contract, originally signed in November 2019 and revised in February 2021, includes provisions that restrict Carlson's appearances on other media platforms.
Bryan Freedman, an attorney representing Carlson, emphasized in a statement that any legal action taken by Fox News would encroach upon the television personality's First Amendment rights.