21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch Rebukes Pres. Trump’s Response to Charlottesville

By A.J. Katz 

Murdoch is criticizing Trump.

Not exactly a sentence one expects to see these days.

21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch sent an email to friends saying that in light of the neo-Nazi protests and violence in Charlottesville over the weekend, he and his wife would be making a $1 million donation to the Anti-Defamation League.


In the note, Murdoch is also quite critical of Pres. Trump’s response to the atrocities. His father, of course, is Fox News executive chairman and acting CEO Rupert Murdoch, who reportedly is something of an informal adviser to the president. Trump and the elder Murdoch have known each other for years, and Murdoch’s network is Trump’s media outlet of choice.

Pres. Trump and Rupert Murdoch had dinner on Aug. 1, the day after Trump fired former White House comms director Anthony Scaramucci, who was once a Fox News contributor and Fox Business host.

Here’s the note, as obtained by the NY Times.


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,


The son is said to be far more progressive than his father, but one wonders if criticism by the head of Fox News’s parent company will elicit a response from Pres. Trump via social media.

Stay tuned.