Fox News has alleged that former host Tucker Carlson violated his contract by launching his new show on Twitter, as reported by Axios.
The first episode of Carlson’s show, “Tucker on Twitter,” was released on Tuesday and drew in about 80 million views by Wednesday afternoon. In the debut episode, which lasted roughly 10 minutes, Carlson claimed that Ukraine was responsible for the destruction of a massive dam in Russian-occupied territory, resulting in widespread flooding.
Fox Cites Exclusive Service Agreement
In a letter to Carlson’s lawyers, Fox News general counsel Bernard Gugar pointed to the terms of the former host’s contract with the network. According to Gugar, the contract stipulates that Carlson’s “services shall be completely exclusive to Fox.” Gugar further added that Carlson was barred from providing services of any kind “over the internet via streaming or similar distribution, or other digital distribution whether now known or hereafter devised.”
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Carlson’s Lawyers Invoke First Amendment Rights
In response to Fox News’ allegations, Carlson’s legal team countered that any legal action by Fox would infringe on his First Amendment rights. Bryan Freedman, Carlson’s lawyer, criticized the network, stating, “Fox defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds. Now they want to take Tucker Carlson’s right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events.”
Carlson and Fox News Parted Ways in April
Carlson, who was previously Fox News’ top-rated host, left the network in late April. His departure came less than a week after Fox Corp., the network’s parent company, settled a defamation lawsuit for $787.5 million. Carlson described his new platform on Twitter as the “short-wave radio under the blankets” with “no gatekeepers.”
As the situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the contractual dispute between Carlson and Fox News will be resolved.
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