Fox News has reportedly parted ways with Republican political commentators "Diamond and Silk" after the controversial pair recently promoted conspiracy theories and disinformation on social media about the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Daily Beast.
“After what they’ve said and tweeted you won’t be seeing them on Fox Nation or Fox News anytime soon,” said a source with knowledge of the matter, the Beast reported.
The widely recognized pair, whose real names are Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, worked as hosts on Fox Nation, a subscription-based social media streaming spinoff of Fox News Channel. They have 1.4 million followers on Twitter.
The siblings rose to fame by throwing their support behind Donald Trump during the 2016 election. From there, regular appearances in conservative media circles led to their hiring at Fox News in 2018 as regular contributors.
The two are controversial in the black community because of where they stand on issues of race. In one of their regular appearances on “Fox & Friends,” they declared that “black unemployment is low and home ownership is high” in the Trump era.
The two are very chummy with the president, making appearances with Trump in the Oval Office, defending him on the campaign trail and retweeting many of his social media posts.
One senior Trump administration official joked in 2018 that the pair could double as "senior economic advisers" to the president, according to the Beast.
On Tuesday morning, the pair cryptically tweeted: “Haters keep saying they hate Diamond and Silk, but you can't hate what you ain’t never loved!”
Trump retweeted the statement and added: “But I love Diamond & Silk, and so do millions of people!”
Reports say they have not been seen in their usual guest spots on Fox News since early March.
Before this month, the pair never missed their weekly livestream video spots for Fox Nation. Now, however, no new episodes have been uploaded since April 7, according to reports.
The Beast reports that during a March 30 livestream, the duo claimed that the number of American coronavirus deaths had been inflated to make Trump look bad.
“What I need to know is how many people have passed away in New York, and what I need to know is: Who has the bodies?” Diamond asked. “I need for somebody that does investigative work to call the morgues. To call the funeral homes. We need to know, because I don’t trust anything else that comes out of his mouth now. ... Something’s not right here. Something is off here.”
Silk later asserted the disease was “man-made” and “engineered,” mused about whether there was a “little deep-state action going on behind the scenes,” the Beast reported.
The pair questioned the rising death toll in other tweets and video posts, asking at one point, “Why did they have to inflate the numbers?”
On April 8, Twitter temporarily locked Diamond and Silk’s account after the pair posted a statement that violated the site’s rules against spreading misinformation about coronavirus, according to a report by Politico.
“The only way we can become immune to the environment; we must be out in the environment,” the tweet said. “Quarantining people inside of their house for extended periods will make people sick!” the statement read. Later in the afternoon, the tweet was removed and the account was restored.
An April 10 livestream also featured the pair pushing more conspiracies, including one about a coronavirus vaccine that tech giant Bill Gates was involved in because he’s pushing for “population control.”
“Kudos if you make your vaccines for people and you want to help people,” Diamond said. “But I have a problem receiving any vaccine from any entity, especially anybody like Bill Gates who pushed for population control. The same thing that Margaret Sanger pushed for.”
“Abortions! Genocide!” Silk shouted in response.
In the past, Fox News has described Diamond and Silk as independent contractors who are paid to license their weekly videos for the streaming service.