James Murdoch, the 44-year-old chairman of 21st Century Fox, is the latest US business leader to criticise Donald Trump over his response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The event saw anti-far-right protester Heather Heyer, 32, killed after she was struck by a car allegedly driven by a white nationalist.
Trump, who counts former Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon as one of his closest aides, initially condemned the violence on "both sides". The Republican grandee later focused on the KKK and neo-Nazis, branding them "thugs".
But Trump's second statement was effectively deemed too little, too late as a string of CEOs resigned from his Manufacturing Council. The move forced Trump to disband the group and his Strategy & Policy Forum after he attacked Ken Frazier, the boss of pharmaceuticals giant Merck, on Twitter.
"Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!," the US president told his more than 36 million followers. Murdoch, meanwhile, reportedly criticised Trump in a letter seen by The New York Times.
"I can't even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so," Murdoch wrote. Whether Trump gives London-born Murdoch the same treatment as Frazier is yet to be seen.
His media mogul father, Rupert, is seen as an ally of Trump's and Fox News has been seen supportive of the billionaire – both during and after the White House race against Hillary Clinton.
But James and his brother Lachlan are reportedly trying to reshape their father's media empire, with Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff claiming that the brothers saw former presenter Bill O'Reilly and ex-founder and chairman Roger Ailes as part of a "bygone era" of Fox News.
"The Murdoch sons, while in important ways financially supported by the profitable, culturally backward views at Fox, see their job as taking the company into a new era," Wolff wrote in The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year.
O'Reilly, 67, and Ailes both faced sexual harassment allegations, with the later stepping down from Fox News in 2016 and passing away at the age of 77. O'Reilly has denied all the claims against him, whilst 21st Century Fox announced that he would not be returning to Fox News in April.
"It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims," O'Reilly said. "But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today."