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NBC and Fox News pull Trump campaign’s anti-immigration ad after ‘Sunday Night Football’ backlash

Hundreds of migrants -mostly Hondurans- taking part in a caravan heading to the US, gather before deciding to take the road on their way to Isla, Veracruz State, Mexico, on November 3, 2018. - President Donald Trump on Thursday warned that soldiers deployed to the Mexican border could shoot Central American migrants who throw stones at them while attempting to cross illegally. (Photo credit GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)

NBC and Fox News said in separate statements on Monday that their networks will no longer air the Trump campaign’s racist anti-immigrant advertisement.

NBC was first to announce its decision, doing so after a backlash over its decision to show the 30-second spot during “Sunday Night Football.”

“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for NBC said in a statement.

Fox soon followed suit.

“Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” Marianne Gambelli, Fox News’ president of advertisement sales, told CNN in a statement.

The advertisement aims to motivate Republican turnout by vilifying a group of migrants walking toward the US southern border, wrongly portraying them as invaders and criminals.

Many viewers were stunned when it aired during “Sunday Night Football,” which is one of the most watched programs on television, regularly averaging more than 10 million viewers.

This week’s game likely had a particularly big audience as it featured a highly-anticipated matchup between two of the league’s premier quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

People familiar with the matter told CNN that the advertisement was not submitted to either CBS or ABC.

CNN had previously determined that the Trump campaign’s advertisement was racist and declined to sell airtime for it.

On Saturday, Donald Trump Jr. complained on Twitter that CNN “refused to run” the advertisement.

CNN public relations responded on Twitter: “CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts.”

By Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter, CNN Business