On Tuesday, Steve Levitan, co-creator and executive producer of Modern Family, announced that he would no longer work with Fox Studios thanks to its association with Fox News. He tweeted out:
21st Century Fox is made up of several key assets, according to Variety: Fox Broadcasting, the 28 Fox Television Stations, Fox News, and cable channels Fox Sports 1 and 2 as well as the Big Ten Network and Fox Deportes. As you’d suspect, 20th Century Fox TV has virtually nothing to do with Fox News, and long-rumored sale of 20th Century Fox TV to Disney or Comcast would sever the tie completely.
Levitan’s not the only major TV figure talking about leaving Fox. There’s also Seth MacFarlane, who tweeted that he was “embarrassed” to work for Fox, adding, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain. Just blindly obey Fox News. This is fringe s***, and it’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.”
And there’s Paul Feig, who tweeted, “I have made two films for 20th Century Fox and love the people in the movie and TV divisions. But I too cannot condone the support their news division promotes toward the immoral and abusive policies and actions taken by this current administration toward immigrant children.”
It’s unlikely that any of these creators will lose any money. And blaming 20th Century Fox Television for Fox News is somewhat like blaming Disney Studios for ABC News coverage, or blaming NBC TV for MSNBC’s news coverage. But this sort of virtue signaling is perfectly sensible — it gives Levitan the ability to look as though he’s doing something without giving up any cash at all. It turns out that Levitan’s deal with 20th Century Fox Television dies in 2019 anyway. So does MacFarlane’s.