The Fox News star Tucker Carlson said on Monday evening that he would leave on a vacation, starting immediately, days after a writer on his program, Blake Neff, resigned over racist, sexist and misogynist messages that Mr. Neff published anonymously on an online message board.
Mr. Carlson told viewers that he would return to his show next week and described the vacation as “long planned,” suggesting that his time off had been set before the start of a controversy that has swirled around “Tucker Carlson Tonight” since Friday, when Mr. Neff was revealed as the author of the offensive posts.
It was not the first time that Mr. Carlson has abruptly announced that he would take a break from the anchor chair in the immediate aftermath of a sensitive moment for his prime-time program. Last August, Mr. Carlson took a vacation two days after he likened white supremacy to a “hoax,” saying it was “actually not a real problem in America,” remarks that prompted some advertisers to request that their spots be withheld from his show.
In response to an inquiry on Monday, Fox News said that Mr. Carlson’s vacation was “preplanned.”
Mr. Neff, who had written for Mr. Carlson since 2017, resigned last week after Fox News learned of his activity on AutoAdmit, an online forum popular with law students. There, Mr. Neff had written pseudonymous messages that denigrated African-Americans, Asian-Americans and women. Fox News’s top executives condemned Mr. Neff’s conduct as “abhorrent” in a memo to staff and said the show had not previously been aware of his writings.