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Laura Ingraham’s Sidekick Vanishes From Fox News After Viral Clip About Black Voters

Paul Morigi/Getty
Paul Morigi/Getty

Fox News pundit Raymond Arroyo has vanished from the network’s airwaves since sparking backlash last month by claiming Black voters would support Donald Trump for president because “they love sneakers.”

A paid on-air contributor with the conservative cable giant since 2017, Arroyo is best known to Fox News viewers for his regular appearances on Laura Ingraham’s nightly program. In addition to his “Seen and Unseen” and “Friday Follies” segments, he has also served as a substitute host of The Ingraham Angle.

His near-daily presence on Ingraham’s program, however, suddenly came to a halt in late February after his on-air claim that Trump’s new sneakers would win him Black votes went viral in the worst way across social media and prompted widespread rebuke.

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Fox News and Arroyo did not respond to a request for comment.

Fox News Star: Black People Will Vote for Trump Because ‘They Love Sneakers’

Serving as a panelist on Fox News’ The Big Weekend Show on Feb. 18, Arroyo gushed over the former president unveiling his latest MAGA merchandise at Sneaker Con, including a pair of limited-edition gold “Never Surrender” high tops selling for $399. Leaning especially hard into racial stereotypes, he suggested Black voters would ditch the Democratic Party out of admiration for Trump’s pricey gold sneakers.

“This is connecting with Black America because they love sneakers!” Arroyo exclaimed. “They’re into sneakers… this is a big deal, certainly in the inner city. So when you have Trump roll out his sneaker line, they’re like, ‘Wait a minute, this is cool!’”

The segment went largely unnoticed until a clip of Arroyo’s remarks went viral on X days later, resulting in Arroyo getting lambasted by prominent Black columnists and radio hosts for his remarks. “If conservatives believe Blacks are so simplistic that shiny sneakers will sway them to vote, it shows you how out of touch they continue to be with the community,” wrote Milwaukee Journal Sentinel journalist James E. Causey.

Before those viral comments, Arroyo had appeared on the network 29 times since the start of the year, with the vast majority of those appearances on Ingraham’s program. Aside from his 22 segments on The Ingraham Angle—one week saw him show up four times on the primetime show—Arroyo also twice served as a co-host on the midday roundtable program Outnumbered.

However, after presenting a “Seen and Unseen” segment on the Feb. 22 broadcast of Ingraham’s show, he has all but disappeared from Fox News.

Fox News viewers have appeared to notice Arroyo’s ongoing absence. In recent days, several have taken to social media to ask Arroyo and Ingraham why he hasn’t appeared on the network lately. “Did you quit working at Fox?” one X user tweeted last week. Arroyo did not reply.

The network hasn’t just relied on Arroyo to serve as his friend Ingraham’s on-air fall guy and part-time guest host. He also partnered with Ingraham as co-host of Laura & Raymond on Fox Nation, the channel’s digital streaming service. (That program appears to have stopped airing new episodes in 2022.) Additionally, he’s produced and hosted Fox Nation specials in his hometown of New Orleans and conducted interviews with celebrities about their Catholic faith.

Laura Ingraham Apologizes for Graphic of Wrong Black Lawyer

Prior to joining Fox News, Arroyo was the founding news director of Catholic cable station EWTN, where he still hosts a weekly newsmagazine show titled The World Over Live. As a prolific author, Arroyo has made the New York Times Best Seller list with several books generally centered on Christian themes. He’s also been a CNN contributor and previously worked for the Associated Press.

This latest controversy isn’t the first time Arroyo has gotten into hot water for comments made on Fox airwaves. Filling in for Ingraham in 2020, Arroyo earned widespread outrage after he used the antisemitic “puppet master” trope to describe Jewish billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

“This charge, and the comments that followed about Bloomberg’s wealth and power, play into deep seated anti-Semitic canards about Jewish power and money,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote to Fox News at the time. “The use of the term ‘puppet master’ specifically conjures up longstanding anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish power and the notion of the Jewish puppeteer has figured in anti-Semitic imagery throughout modern history.”

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