Lahren, who has garnered a large online following for her unapologetic attitude on her show, “Tomi,” filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in Texas on Friday, claiming she was suspended from her program after publicly revealing that she was in favor of abortion rights.
During an interview on ABC’s “The View” last month, the 24-year-old annouced that she was pro-choice. “I’m pro-choice, and here’s why: I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for a limited government, but I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies,” she said. Lahren later added, “stay out of my guns and you can stay out of my body as well.”
Her comments elicited a social media firestorm, and when she returned home from Dallas, she said the other shoe dropped.
“I was getting ready to go in and do my show, and I got a phone call saying that the show was not on, ‘have been suspended for a week, perhaps longer’ — I was flabbergasted,” she told ABC News’ “Nightline” on Wednesday.
Lahren says that she was retaliating against Beck not because of politics, but because she believed he was censoring her.
“This was not about politics,” Lahren said. “This was about someone who had an opposing viewpoint that has been silenced and sidelined and thrown away.”
Lahren is also requesting for the immediate return of her social media accounts, which are currently operated by The Blaze.
In her lawsuit against The Blaze, Lahren says that “expressing her First Amendment rights and her personal opinions about a woman’s right to choose is not grounds for termination.” Lahren says that Beck “embarked on a public smear campaign” that attempted “to embarrass, humiliate, and undermine.” The Blaze denied the claims, saying in a statement that “it is puzzling that an employee who remains under contract (and is still being paid) has sued us for being fired, especially when we continue to comply fully with the terms of our agreement with her.”
Nonetheless, Lahren remains troubled by the situation.
“When your outlet is taken away from you, and you don’t understand why, and you are so disappointed, and you are so blindsided by it, it hurts,” Lahren said.
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Tomi Lahren on filing a lawsuit against Glenn Beck, TheBlaze: 'I feel betrayed'
Tomi Lahren, the right-wing firebrand who had been a staple on Glenn Beck’s “TheBlaze,” is speaking out after filing a lawsuit against Beck and his online platform, alleging wrongful termination.
“My job is my life. This is my life. Without that, I feel lost,” Lahren told ABC News’ “Nightline." “When your outlet is taken away from you and you don’t understand why and you’re so disappointed and you’re so blindsided, it hurts.”
Lahren, a rising conservative star at just 24 years old who attracted millions of online followers for her controversial and unapologetic critiques on her show, “Tomi,” filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in Texas on Friday. She alleges she was ousted from her show after she said publically she was in favor of abortion rights.
On March 17, Lahren appeared on ABC’s “The View,” and said, “I’m pro-choice, and here’s why: I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies… stay out of my guns and you can stay out of my body as well.”
Her comments launched a social media firestorm, and when she got back home to Dallas, she said, the other shoe dropped.
“I was getting ready to go in and do my show and I got a phone call saying that show was not on, ‘have been suspended for a week, perhaps longer,’ … I was flabbergasted,” she said.
Lahren said TheBlaze suspended her and terminated her show because of her pro-choice statements on “The View.” It’s a claim TheBlaze denies, telling ABC News in a statement, "It is puzzling that an employee who remains under contract (and is still being paid) has sued us for being fired, especially when we continue to comply fully with the terms of our agreement with her.”
But Lahren claims she has been “silenced” and “sidelined” ever since.
“This is not about politics,” she said. “This is about someone who had an opposing viewpoint that has been silenced and sidelined and thrown away.”
Despite TheBlaze’s denial, Lahren continues to characterize her situation as having been fired, though she admits Beck’s company is still paying her.
“I get up in the morning and I don't have a job to go to,” she said. “I don’t sit down in my chair and deliver my ‘Final Thoughts,’ I don’t have a dressing room, so I’m terminated, I’m fired… the way I look at things, I’m not doing what I was contracted to do, which was produce a television show, a political talk show.”
Lahren is still being paid until her contact with TheBlaze is up in September, but she said she wants out. In her lawsuit, Lahren alleged “expressing her First Amendment rights and her personal opinions about a woman’s right to choose” is not grounds for termination and that Beck and others “embarked on a public smear campaign” against Lahren “in a clear attempt to embarrass, humiliate and undermine” her.
“After my appearance on ‘The View,’ I saw a lot of commentary on Twitter and other platforms, but I wasn’t allowed to respond to those, I was silenced,” she said. “Now I don’t have a problem with free speech but free speech and silencing your opposition, boy, I have a problem with that.”
The lawsuit also alleges that “TBI [TheBlaze, Inc.] stretched yellow caution tape spelling an “X” on plaintiff’s [Lahren’s] office/dressing room door,” which Lahren told “Nightline” she found “very hurtful.”
“I'm someone with a thick skin and I can stand up to about anybody,” Lahren said. “But when somebody does that that's really hard for me to take in…Loyalty is everything to me, and you can disagree with me, but to go out and try to humiliate me? Very, very disappointed.”
Perhaps worse for a media personality who has over 4.2 million Facebook followers, Lahren also claims TheBlaze retains control of her Facebook page. Lahren is suing for “the immediate return and complete access” to her Facebook page and other social media accounts, according to the lawsuit. Lahren’s last post was on March 19.
“The fundamental question will be is this her personal Facebook page, in which case they have no right to control it, make it go dark, change it, or is this a Facebook page that is associated with TheBlaze that’s effectively owned and run by TheBlaze,” said ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams.
Beck insists that Lahren’s stance on abortion had nothing to do with her suspension. He responded to Lahren’s “View” comments his show on March 20.
“If you are pro-choice, you can have a job at TheBlaze,” Beck said at the time. “I don’t want strawmen. I want people to make a real argument on the other side.”
He went on to say he takes issue with the justification for her beliefs, saying “I would disagree that you’re a hypocrite if you want limited government and yet you want government to protect life of the unborn.”
In response to Beck’s comments, Lahren told “Nightline” that she never had the opportunity to defend herself before her suspension.
“Clearly I was terminated without cause because I expressed a viewpoint,” she said. “That's why they didn't want me around. It was specifically because of that. So here we are.”
Lahren made a name for herself for being provocative on her show, though she called herself not “provocative” but “passionate.” She made comments about Colin Kaepernick’s infamous kneeling during the national anthem. After Beyoncé seemed to give a tribute to the Black Panthers Party during her Super Bowl Halftime show performance last year, Lahren went on her show and called Beyoncé’s husband, Jay-Z, a “drug dealer for 14 years.” Lahren also tweeted that the Black Lives Matter movement was the “new KKK,” but later deleted the tweet.
“Listen, I know there's people that are going to disagree with some of the things that I say and that's OK,” she said. “I'm not here to please everyone.”
Without a show and without full control of her social media presence, Lahren has been pushed to the sidelines – for the moment at least.
“I'm a human being at the end of the day and something has been stripped from me and that's my ability to work, that’s my ability to have a voice,” she said. “That's been taken from me wrongfully. So I’m upset by it, and I’m hurt by it and I feel betrayed by it.”
But she says don’t count her out for long.
“I'm not the kind of girl that sits in the corner and cries about things. And that's another message I really want to get across,” Lahren said. “I don't consider myself a feminist but boy I will not lay down and play dead ever.”
Tomi Lahren: TheBlaze 'deeply hurt' me
Tomi Lahren has broken her silence.
Lahren said on ABC's "Nightline" Wednesday she was "deeply hurt" by TheBlaze’s decision to pull her from the air and wants to move on with her life.
The conservative talk show host claims she was ousted from her program after she said she was in favor of abortion rights while appearing on ABC's "The View" on March 17.
"I'm deeply hurt by what has happened, I'm disappointed in what has happened, but if this is the way it is, let’s just part ways cleanly," she said. "I just want to work and have the freedom to put my voice out there and I want to interact with my fans and my followers. That’s all I want out of this."
Lahren's emotional response promoted "Nightline" anchor Byron Pitts to ask her why she was getting choked up.
"Without that, I feel lost," she said of her show on TheBlaze. "When your outlet is taken away from you, when your catharsis is stripped from you and you don’t understand why and you’re so disappointed and you’re so blindsided by it, it hurts."
Lahren, 24, filed a 27-page lawsuit in Dallas April 7 claiming there is nothing in her employment contract prohibiting Lahren's comments on "The View."
"I can't sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies," she said on "The View."
TheBlaze took her off camera but offered to pay her contract if she remained silent on social media, her lawsuit states. Since then, attorney Brian Lauten asserts Beck and others at TheBlaze "embarked on a public smear campaign" and interfered with her business relationships.
Lahren is also seeking control over her Facebook page and her four million followers on the social media site. The lawsuit alleges TheBlaze has "complete and autonomous control over Plaintiff’s Facebook account" and leaving her without access to it has "irreparably harmed" Lahren.
The lawsuit wants a judge to rescind her employment contract and declare that she may speak her mind freely.
TheBlaze told Dallas News in a statement, "It is puzzling that an employee who remains under contract (and is still being paid) has sued us for being fired, especially when we continue to comply fully with the terms of our agreement with her."