- Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for National Geographic
James Murdoch railed against racial violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, in an email to 21st Century Fox employees published on Thursday.
“I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists,” Murdoch’s email read. He implored Democrats and Republicans to take a firm stand against hate groups, even as President Donald Trump wavered in his denunciations of white nationalists and neo-Nazis over the past week.
Murdoch is the chief executive of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of the Fox News channel. The company was founded by his father Rupert Murdoch, a close confidant to Trump.
Trump is also a frequent guest on Fox News programs, and the network regularly promotes narratives that are seen as favorable to the president.
James Murdoch did not name Trump specifically in his email to employees.
Observers noted the omission, which happened at a time when lawmakers, business leaders, and tech moguls have roundly condemned the president’s equivocations about white nationalists and Confederate monuments – a matter Trump sought to relitigate during a heated press conference on Tuesday.
Murdoch said he was writing the email in a personal capacity to “remind us all why vigilance against hate and bigotry is an eternal obligation.” He announced that he would pledge $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League in protest of the deadly Charlottesville rally.
“We hardly ever talk about our charitable giving,” Murdoch said to employees, “but in this case I wanted to tell you and encourage you to be generous too.”
Read Murdoch’s full email below:
Subject: Personal note from James Murdoch re: ADL
I’m writing to you in a personal capacity, as a concerned citizen and a father. It has not been my habit to widely offer running commentary on current affairs, nor to presume to weigh in on the events of a given day save those that might be of particular or specific concern to 21CF and my colleagues. But what we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people.
These events remind us all why vigilance against hate and bigotry is an eternal obligation – a necessary discipline for the preservation of our way of life and our ideals. The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob. I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.
Diverse storytellers, and stories, can make a difference, and that diversity, around the world, is a crucial strength and an animating force in my business. Often times not everyone agrees with the stories and positions that emerge from this, and that can be difficult. Certainly no company can be perfect. But I’m proud of the powerful art that can emerge, and I’m grateful to all of my colleagues who make this happen. From the potent and compelling narrative of “12 Years a Slave”, to the streets of Pakistan and the bravery of an extraordinary young woman that we saw in “He Named Me Malala”, to name just a few, we’ve never been afraid to help storytellers and artists say important things – hard things, too.
To further demonstrate our commitment, Kathryn and I are donating 1 million dollars to the Anti-Defamation League, and I encourage you to give what you think is right as well. We hardly ever talk about our charitable giving, but in this case I wanted to tell you and encourage you to be generous too. Many of you are supporters of the Anti-Defamation League already – now is a great time to give more. The ADL is an extraordinary force for vigilance and strength in the face of bigotry – you can learn more here: https://www.adl.org. My very best to you and with all my gratitude,