NBC plans to air the sit-down with Jones on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19. The Infowars host has been in the spotlight for questioning whether the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was a government hoax to win support for gun control legislation.
J.P. Morgan Chase is the only advertiser that has been publicly identified. The bank has pulled all of its ads from “all NBC news programming until after the show airs,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
NBC declined to specify how many advertisers have withdrawn from the Sunday program, but most of them are ads bought from local NBC-owned stations, according to CNN.
NBC News chairman Andy Lack told CNN that he’s not concerned about losing advertisers. “This comes with the territory,” Lack said. “We kind of know, when we’re doing controversial stories, that’s going to happen. It doesn’t stop us from doing controversial stories.”
Kelly also defended the decision to air the interview. “What I think we’re doing in journalism,” she said, per the AP. “The bottom line is that while it’s not always popular, it’s important. I would submit to you that neither I nor NBC News has elevated Alex Jones in any way. He’s been elevated by 5 or 6 million viewers or listeners, and by the president of the United States. As you know, journalists don’t get the choice over who has power or influence in our country.”
The backlash over the interview also led to Kelly being dropped as host for the Promise Champions Gala, which will be held on Wednesday, June 14, in Washington, D.C. The annual event benefits the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, which was founded by the parents of several children who were killed in the elementary school shooting.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!