Amy Schumer has apparently canceled a scheduled interview on a local news station owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group after critics decried the company for forcing its anchors to read a script casting doubt on media integrity, BuzzFeed reported Thursday.
As part of a press tour to promote Schumer’s latest comedy, “I Feel Pretty,” the actress was reportedly set to appear on WJLA, a local ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C.
A rep for Schumer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
She is joined by a handful of Democratic candidates who have so far pledged not to advertise on Sinclair-owned networks: Maryland gubernatorial candidate Krish Vignarajah, Kentucky congressional candidate Amy McGrath, Maryland congressional candidate David Trone, North Carolina congressional candidate Ken Romley and New York congressional candidate Gareth Rhodes.
“We’ve decided not to support a corporate media giant that bullies its employees into reading propaganda,” Romley said in a statement. McGrath said she felt that Sinclair’s script “eerily mimics the propaganda efforts” of “authoritarian regimes.”
A source close to the matter told BuzzFeed that the controversy also factored into Schumer’s decision, and that she does not wish to work with any Sinclair-owned station in the future.
Sinclair, the nation’s largest owner of local TV stations, sparked the criticism last month when it required anchors to read a statement parroting language on “false news” and “fake stories” used by President Donald Trump. The controversy came to a head this week after Deadspin released a video showing dozens of anchors reciting the scripted dialogue, their voices joining in unison.
The broadcaster ― which has a history of requiring its stations to air conservative segments ― has not backed down.
Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s senior vice president of news, said in a statement he “find[s] it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially dangerous consequences.”
While social media users can spread some false stories, including misinformation peddled by Russian trolls, Sinclair’s scripted message references “members of the media” whom it claims “use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda.”
Allied Progress, a left-leaning consumer watchdog group, has spearheaded its own effort to stop Sinclair from spreading controversial messages. The group spent six figures buying ad space on four Sinclair-owned stations across the country to run a spot warning viewers about the company’s conservative leanings.