#BoycottABC trends after network affiliates run ad of Ocasio-Cortez photo set on fire

Twitter users pushed the “BoycottABC” hashtag into the social platform’s top trending items on Friday after local affiliates of the network aired an ad from a GOP super PAC that showed a photo of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez,200 may be enough in Mitch McConnell's hometown of Louisville, but not in most US cities Democrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Progressives lost the battle for the Democratic Party's soul MORE (D-N.Y.) being set on fire. 

Twitter's trending sidebar showed more than 40,000 tweets had been shared using the hashtag to call for a boycott of ABC after the 30-second ad attacking Ocasio-Cortez aired during the Democratic presidential debate on a number of ABC affiliates, including Washington, D.C-.based WJLA owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. 


The ad was created by New Faces GOP, a political action committee run by Elizabeth Heng, who made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in California last year.

It opens with a photo of Ocasio-Cortez, with Heng narrating in the background: “This is the face of socialism and ignorance. Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know the horror of socialism?”

The photo is then set on fire and burns to reveal images of skulls and skeletons. 

“My father was minutes from death in Cambodia before a forced marriage saved his life. That’s socialism. Forced obedience. Starvation,” Heng says in the video. “Mine is a face of freedom. My skin is not white. I’m not outrageous, racist or socialist. I’m a Republican.”

The ad has since prompted a wave of backlash online, leading to thousands of calls for a boycott of ABC.

Ocasio-Cortez also criticized the ad on Twitter shortly after it aired on Thursday night and called it "a love letter to the GOP's white supremacist case."

"Republicans are running TV ads setting pictures of me on fire to convince people they aren’t racist. Life is weird!" Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a pair of tweets.

“Know that this wasn’t an ad for young conservatives of color - that was the pretense. What you just watched was a love letter to the GOP’s white supremacist case,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

She also called out ABC and Sinclair Broadcast Group in a tweet for broadcasting the ad.

“GOP’s message: No policy, no facts, just displays of violence + corporations like @ABCNetwork & Sinclair who amplify them,” she wrote. “They profit from burning my likeness on TV. But who pays for heightened security? Who answers the phones for the threats resulting from a violent, false ad?”

-- Updated at 4:02 p.m.