Glenn Beck’s media outlet The Blaze fired rising right-wing internet star Elijah Schaffer last month after a co-worker accused Schaffer of sexually assaulting her, The Daily Beast has learned.
On Sept. 24, The Blaze announced on Twitter that Schaffer had been “terminated for violating company policies and standards” after an “investigation regarding a personal matter.” Schaffer, a prominent conservative commentator who boasts more than 470,000 followers on Twitter, confirmed his firing on the site and announced plans to go independent, adding that it was “a long time coming.”
Schaffer’s firing surprised many in the right-wing media, where Schaffer has been seen as an up-and-comer since he rose to prominence covering riots in the aftermath of the 2020 murder of George Floyd. But the actual reason for Schaffer’s firing was not made public.
Schaffer’s ouster was, in fact, the result of a weeks-long internal investigation into an allegation that he had groped a colleague’s breasts without her consent, according to a person close to the incident. In late August, Schaffer was accused of groping Sara Gonzales, another host at The Blaze, without her consent, at a film premiere.
Schaffer didn’t respond to requests for comment. Gonzales, The Blaze, and Beck, the company’s founder, also didn’t provide comment.
The details of Schaffer’s firing were first made public on a Tuesday livestream by Ethan Ralph, a far-right internet personality who has clashed with Schaffer in the past. The Daily Beast confirmed the existence of Gonzales’s allegation independently of Ralph.
The alleged incident took place in Dallas on Aug. 26, at the premiere of Uncle Tom II, a conservative film that Schaffer co-produced. Gonzales and Schaffer were seated next to each other in the theater, according to a picture that Schaffer tweeted before the film. As the film played, according to a complaint made to management at The Blaze and described to The Daily Beast, an intoxicated Schaffer began to grope her breasts.
The accusations prompted an investigation at Blaze Media into Schaffer’s behavior, according to the person close to the incident, who asked not to be named for fear of being punished for speaking to a media outlet. That investigation culminated in Schaffer’s firing in September.
Before his firing, Schaffer had also publicly clashed with Beck, an outspoken Mormon. In May, Schaffer tweeted that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are “going to hell” because “Mormons are not Christians.”
“Assuming I’m one of the ‘many’ nice people, who the Lord has made clear to you is condemned, I just need to know if you still want a guy who is going to hell as a mentor?” Beck shot back.
Schaffer also incited controversy with his reporting style. On Jan. 6, 2021, he joined rioters entering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, where he photographed emails a Pelosi staffer had left open on a computer after fleeing. In tweets during the incident, Schaffer described the rioters as “revolutionaries” carrying out a “revolution.”