Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from The Blaze.
Conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren is suing her former employer for wrongful termination, which she claims was a result of her pro-choice opinions.
Lahren was suspended and then fired by The Blaze last month, just days after expressing a pro-choice stance in an appearance on the television show 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 during the talk show’s March 17 episode.
The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County Friday, states that her remarks were “applauded” by a producer who traveled with her for the appearance on The View. It also states she received “congratulatory” messages from co-workers at The Blaze.
“No one told [Lahren] that her statements on The View were either improper or inappropriate; and, indeed, [Lahren’s] point of view is just that—her point of view and freedom of expression,” the suit reads.
It states that Lahren had expressed pro-choice beliefs before, and that those beliefs are “in no way inconsistent” with the obligations of her contract with The Blaze.
The network sent the following statement to WFAA when asked for comment:
"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.”
The Blaze still intended to pay Lahren after her dismissal from the network, “presumably hoping they could find an exit strategy to sanitize their unlawful conduct,” the suit states. Her contract was set to expire on Sept. 30.
Glenn Beck, who founded The Blaze, did not provide additional comment.
Beck claimed the firing wasn't a result of Lahren's pro-choice beliefs, but spoke out against her comments on his radio show, saying they reflected a “recent” change in her views. He also expressed his disapproval on Twitter.
Rule another label out. I am NOT a "constitutional". I believe in LIFE, liberty and property. Just an old fashioned "constitutionalist."— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 17, 2017
The lawsuit calls the reaction by Beck and others at The Blaze a “public smear campaign” meant to “embarrass, humiliate, and undermine [Lahren’s] reach to her audience on social media and elsewhere.”
Employees at The Blaze placed yellow caution tape in the shape of an “X” on Lahren’s dressing room door at the company’s Irving offices.
“[Lahren’s] unilateral suspension and termination by [The Blaze] underscores the point that Beck and TBI have a political-opinion litmus test, which cannot be reconciled with the Employment Contract that specifically authorizes Plaintiff to express her own views without the threat of retaliation,” the lawsuit reads.
Amy Holmes, a former anchor for The Blaze who is also pro-choice, stood up for Beck on Twitter this week, saying he "never made politics an issue."
I can personally attest @glennbeck *never* made politics an issue. He encouraged people (me!) to grow. I know. I was there at the start.— Amy Holmes (@realamymholmes) April 4, 2017
My open pro-choice views were never an issue for @glennbeck who hired me to help launch the network.— Amy Holmes (@realamymholmes) April 4, 2017
Lahren was asked to remain silent on social media, where she has over 5 million collective followers, according to the lawsuit. As of the publishing of this story, the last post on her Facebook fan page was dated March 19. She has continued to post on Twitter and Instagram.
The lawsuit asks for a temporary restraining order against The Blaze, which would prevent the network from infringing on Lahren’s right to speak freely and from the network’s representatives interfering with any evidence in the case.
Read a copy of the lawsuit below or here.
© 2017 WFAA-TV