Caravan ad sparks controversy

This past Sunday, NBC aired a polarizing political, anti-immigration ad that sent news outlets into a spiral. After airing during prime-time commercial breaks for game between the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers, the ad was retracted by NBC. 

The commercial features footage of Luis Bracamontes, the undocumented immigrant facing the death penalty for the murder of two law enforcement officers, bragging and reportedly having regret for “just killing two.” The ad states, “Dangerous illegal criminals like cop-killer Luis Bracamontes don’t care about our laws.” The ad further reports that we should fear and stop the “migrant caravan invasion” by voting Republican in the, then upcoming, election.

Endorsed and originally shared on Twitter by President Trump, the ad was rejected by several other news sources – including CNN and Fox News. NBC and Facebook displayed the ad until backlash became too much to keep it aired.

On Monday morning an NBC media reporter tweeted on behalf of the the network about their recognition of  “the insensitive nature of the ad,” and announcing that they “have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible.” 

Fox News Network’s president of ad sales, Marianne Gambelli, said they would no longer air the ad. After ceasing the display of the ad on Sunday evening, Gambelli released the following statement – “It will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network.” 

The only recognition CNN has given to the ad is in conjunction with declaration of it being “misleading and racist”. They recently released an article claiming that the commercial was viewed by over “21 million viewers” when aired during Sunday Night Football.

It is uncommon for such networks to refuse to air ad content endorsed by the President. The concern that resulting in not broadcasting the ad stemmed from perceived rhetoric that promoted fear and racist propaganda in an effort to influence the election.


Many entities and people with ties to NBC were not only unaware it being aired, but they were also disappointed in the network for doing so. Debra Messing, who stars in the show Will and Grace that aires on NBC, released a public statement on Twitter that exposed her for being “ashamed” of the network’s willingness to air a “disgusting racist ad.”

In a public statement, the NFL league spokesman, Brian McCarthy, said “The NFL. played no role in the airing of the spot.” 

Opinions concerning the ad are not far off par on Washburn’s very own campus. Braden Ebert, a freshman on campus, relates closely to the opinions by many news networks concerning the displaying and even filming of the ad. “You cannot stereotype an entire ethnic group. These people are just trying to do what is best for them and their families. We are all human and should treat each other as such.”

President Trump has ordered 5,000 troops to the US-Mexico Border.

Jillian Roy, a freshman at Washburn, has an opinion that is very similar is respect to concern. Roy, however, fears the broader implications of what will happen when the caravan actually arrives at the border. “Trump and the entire Republican Party have been radicalized much faster than the left, but have been using scaremongering tactics to try to justify their actions and endorsements that directly clash with ideologies and platforms of the Democrats.”

A message of long time fear and consternation toward immigrants has been stopped in its tracks.