The ad, which cost $670,000 to air during Sunday Night Football, is a slightly edited version of a video that Trump himself tweeted on October 31, which had a more explicit anti-Democrat sentiment. The pro-President Trump ad gave voters a dire warning about the migrant caravan headed toward the US border.
NBC aired the ad during its Sunday NFL programming and immediately faced backlash. In a remarkable omission, the ad fails to mention that the killer, Luis Brocamontes, entered the country illegally during the George W. Bush administration (that's a Republican, for those keeping track at home) and was arrested and released in 1998 by the Maricopa County sheriff's department led by Joe Arpaio, whom the president pardoned.
Will & Grace star Debra Messing criticized NBC for airing the ad, sharing in a tweet to fans that she is "ashamed that my network aired this disgusting racist ad". The ad focuses on the migrant caravan traveling through Mexico, saying it's filled with "dangerous illegal criminals".
NBC said Monday that in its review, it recognizes the insensitive nature of the ad.
"This ad violates Facebook's advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined.
The 30-second clip that played during Sunday's game made connections between immigration and increases in crime even though multiple studies have found immigration does not cause a rise in crime, according to Anna Flagg of The New York Times. "While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it can not receive paid distribution".
Many have compared the caravan commercial to the infamous Willie Horton ad during the 1988 presidential campaign that damaged the prospects of Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis.