John Oliver called out HBO's new owner, AT&T, for supporting 'racist' Steve King on 'Last Week Tonight'

john oliverJohn Oliver attends the 11th Annual Stand Up for Heroes Event presented by The New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 7, 2017 in New York City.Getty Images/Bryan Bedder

  • John Oliver called out HBO's new parent company, AT&T, on Sunday's "Last Week Tonight" for taking so long to denounce Iowa Representative Steve King.
  • "The news really shouldn't be these companies bailed on him, so much as they were okay with him for a shockingly long time," Oliver said.
  • AT&T announced recently that it would stop contributing to King's re-election campaign.


AT&T owns HBO after acquiring Time Warner, but that didn't stop John Oliver from calling out his new parent company on Sunday's episode of "Last Week Tonight."

Oliver criticized AT&T for backing Iowa Representative Steve King until recently, when it denounced King.

AT&T tweeted on Friday that it had reviewed the "controversy" surrounding King, and determined that its employee PAC would no longer be making contributions to him because it "would not be consistent with one of our core values ... 'Stand for Equality.'"

But Oliver still took the opportunity to blast AT&T for sticking with King as long as it did, noting that "the news really shouldn't be these companies bailed on him, so much as they were okay with him for a shockingly long time."

King has a history of contact with white nationalism, which has prompted backlash ahead of the midterms. When asked about it at an Iowa town hall last week, King exploded.

"People who aren't a white supremacist say 'No,'" Oliver said. "Even people who are white supremacists know to say 'No.' So it takes a special mix of racism and stupid to f--- that one up."

AT&T acquired HBO's parent company Time Warner for $85 million in May. Since then, it has expressed plans to make HBO more competitive in the streaming arena, including developing more content and launching a new streaming service next year that would be bundled with HBO.

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