"#BoycottABC" was trending on Friday morning. 

By Sam Reed
Sep 13, 2019 @ 10:15 am

The next election year is rapidly approaching, and you know what that means: Cringe-worthy attack ads are coming soon to a TV near you. 

Well, actually, some ads are coming sooner than we thought. At Thursday evening's Democratic primary debate, which was aired on ABC, an ad attacking Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was played. However, its violent imagery — including a shot of AOC's face bursting into flames — has viewers up in arms. 

After the image of the congresswoman's face is smothered in fire, the frame opens up to images of skulls and starving people as the narrator, recently defeated GOP candidate Elizabeth Heng, discusses her family's plight at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970s. The ad, which refers to Ocasio-Cortez as "the face of socialism," seems to imply that the Democratic party and, more specifically, AOC's democratic socialism, is somehow similar to the genocidal communist party responsible for the murder of 2 million people. 

“This is the face of socialism and ignorance,” says Heng, who, at the end of the video, declares herself a Republican. “Does Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez know the horror of socialism?” 

RELATED: Debate Recap: Everyone's Pretending They're Not Afraid

The ad was met with swift backlash from viewers, who immediately called for a boycott of the network for allowing the ad to run, and also questioning how it cleared their standards and practices. 

The Washington Post reports that the ad was paid for by a newly formed Republican PAC (Political Action Committee) based out of California called New Faces GOP, which aims to bring candidates "from all races, ethnicities, gender, or geography" to the Republican party. Heng herself made a point of saying, "my skin is not white."

The ad was aired by Sinclair Broadcast Group, a nationally syndicated network that has been repeatedly called out by the journalists it employs for pushing its agenda on their local news programming. 

AOC responded to the video by calling it "a love letter to the GOP's white supremacist case." She also wrote that the intent of the ad — to prove that Republicans aren't racist — had the opposite effect. 

Heng replied to her tweets, defending the ad while ignoring that the burning of AOC's likeness could incite violence against the congresswoman herself. 

Early this morning, as the cries of boycott continue to trend across Twitter, AOC called out the extreme imagery and the very real effects they may have.

ABC has not yet responded to the backlash.

Advertisement