Lyric Gillett, founder of Faces of Choice — an abortion survivors’ group — is asking sports fans to “shut the television off” during the commercial break of Sunday’s Super Bowl as a message to Fox Sports Networks, following the company’s refusal to clear a pro-life ad purchase requested by her organization. She joined Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight to discuss her attempts to buy the airing of a pro-life advertisement.
“During the Super Bowl, if you watch the Super Bowl, this is my request,” Gillett said. “When the commercials come on, shut the television off, and instead go to our YouTube channel and pull up the narratives and the stories of these survivors. They’re so compelling. They’re unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. I would ask you to watch them instead of the commercials when those commercial breaks come on. Make an actual statement to Fox that Fox will feel. They will know when those televisions are off if people are not watching those commercials.”
Gillett recalled her dealings with Fox Sports Network, beginning when her media buyer first reached out to the company on July 29, 2019.
“That was the very first time we reached out to them and began this very arduous process, and they strung us along until November,” recalled Gillett. “They provided one bench post for us to hop over after the other, and every time we did, they would move it a little further out and make us run and jump even further. It got to the point that it really was just obvious that there was more going on than a simple application process.”
“So November rolled around, and we’d been doing this, like I said, since July, and we learned at the very end of November — probably the Friday before Thanksgiving, as I remember — that the vice president of sales at Fox Sports Network’s sales department was very unhappy with how things had been proceeding, very unprofessional, from the legal department to the sales department and to us,” Gillett continued. “So he was going to fly from Chicago to New York to find out what was going on and to get some kind of an answer.”
“We were promised that we would be receiving some type of information by way of an answer that Monday,” Gillett said. “So Monday rolls around, and we hear absolutely nothing. Monday night comes, and we find out through the industry — not from Fox — that they’re now saying that they’re sold out. So we were never given an answer. No one ever contacted us. From July to November we just had one stipulation provided and met after the other with nothing.”
“When that transpired, when [Fox Sports Networks] declared they were sold out, my media buyer told me, ‘Look, I’ve been in this industry for a very long time. The Super Bowl always has spots open up after they’ve declared that they’ve been sold out, even if it’s just because somebody can’t pay or some kind of controversy happens and somebody drops out. We need to continue to seek clearance. That way, if a spot opens up, we can step in and take it,’” Gillett said.
“So she emailed Fox legal, [and] I emailed Fox legal,” stated Gillett. “[We] finally got a response — and remember, this is from November — we finally got an answer on December 12th and 13th, saying that we should be expecting an answer — and I quote — ‘very soon’ regarding clearance. “
Fox Sports Networks would not give Gillett a clear decision.
“We’d be fine with a no,” Gillett remarked. “We’re adults. We can handle a no. Just give us the dignity of an answer according to standard business practice. That’s all we’re asking for. So on December 12th and 13th we’re told we should expect one soon. A couple of emails back and forth later — about a week later — they come back and they tell us, ‘Never mind. We decided we are not going to clear your ad or give you an answer unless or until another spot opens.’ Well, let’s think about that. July to November we get no response, and then we’re told that they will make a decision if a spot opens for us?”
“That is, effectively, completely blocking us out, because if they can’t make that [decision] in many months’ time, they’re not going to make that in half a day,” Gillett determined. “Anyone else who was already cleared would be able to step right in. So they reneged on their statement that they would make a decision on it and shut us out again.”
In January, Gillett learned that advertising spots during the upcoming Super Bowl were available for purchase. Jason Yates of My Faith Votes launched a petition calling on Fox Sports Networks to sell ad space to Faces of Choice.
“It does not escape my notice that these survivors have been marginalized out of existence — their voices were almost stolen from them from their beginnings — and now we somehow deem it fit to ignore them out of oblivion,” Gillett said. “It’s untenable and it’s unacceptable, and in a world where we are promoting survivors through Me Too and one movement after the other, why are these survivors less valuable? Why are their voices being marginalized?”
Breitbart News Tonight host Rebecca Mansour asked if Fox Sports Network would behave similarly with Planned Parenthood.
“I think at the very least, [Planned Parenthood] would be given the dignity of a response, and they would not be strung along for months, producing with thousands of dollars and thousands of hours something that they never even receive a response on,” estimated Gillett.
“It’s a good faith effort in every business practice that you’re actually going to receive the dignity of a response. We never even got that,” Gillett remarked.