For years, the Murdoch family has been able to maintain a separation between its Fox News network and its sprawling entertainment empire.
But that corporate buffer seems to be disintegrating, with several prominent creators of hit TV shows expressing disgust in recent days with the 24-hour news channel’s coverage of the Trump administration’s border security policy.
Steve Levitan, the creator of “Modern Family,” which airs on ABC but is produced by Fox’s television studio, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that he was “disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews.” The film director Paul Feig echoed those sentiments, writing that he had made two films for the 20th Century Fox movie studio but “cannot condone the support their news division promotes toward the immoral and abusive policies and actions taken by this current administration toward immigrant children.”
Those tweets came several days after Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy,” said he was “embarrassed” to work at 21st Century Fox after the Fox News host Tucker Carlson told viewers not to trust other news networks.
The criticism has erupted as the future of 21st Century Fox remains in limbo. Both The Walt Disney Company and Comcast are bidding tens of billions of dollars for control of most of the entertainment assets owned by Rupert Murdoch. Fox News would not be part of either sale, and would remain under Murdoch control.
But with the Fox entertainment empire on the brink of being severed from the Murdochs, there appeared to be a newfound willingness to take on Fox News, an enormously profitable arm of 21st Century Fox. The Murdoch-owned company has varied offerings, ranging from its Hollywood-based television and movie studios, the cable channels FX, FS1 and National Geographic, and the TV operator Star India.