Tomi Lahren just wants her 4.2 million Facebook followers back.
It has been close to a month since the 24-year-old provocateur has delivered one of her deliberately controversial Facebook Live segments for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, which fired her from her position last month after she declared herself “pro-choice” and called anti-abortion conservatives “hypocrites” on The View.
Apparently those remarks made the woman who has called Black Lives Matter “the new KKK” too progressive for Beck’s right-wing empire.
Lahren, who sat down with Nightline’s Byron Pitts for her first TV interview since she lost her job, subsequently filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit against Beck and TheBlaze. Introducing the segment, Pitts called it both “emotional” and “introspective,” though it arguably contained more of the former.
“I was getting ready to do my show and got a phone call saying that the show was not on,” Lahren said of the aftermath to The View appearance. “It had been suspended for a week, perhaps longer. I was flabbergasted.”
“This is not about politics,” she added. “This is about someone who had an opposing viewpoint that has been silenced and sidelined and thrown away.” The loss of her Facebook platform has caused her “irreparable harm,” according to the suit. Now, as she tells Pitts in the new interview, she has one message for Beck: “Let me go, let me move on.”
“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,” she continued. “That’s all I want out of this.” She says her job with TheBlaze was “her life” and “without that” she feels “lost.”
Seated in her home with a red “Make America Great Again” hat placed in the background over her right shoulder, Lahren’s voice broke with emotion as she made her plea: “I’m deeply hurt by what has happened, I’m disappointed in what has happened, but if this is the way that it is, let’s just part ways, cleanly.” Though Lahren claims she was “fired” by her employer, she also confirmed that they are still paying her, presumably until her existing contract runs out in September.
“In my neighborhood, when you’re fired, that means they stop paying you,” Pitts replied.
Lahren also says she was “silenced” on social media after Beck starting going after her publicly. “I have no problem with free speech, but free speech and then silencing your opposition, boy, I have a problem with that,” she said. But while her Facebook page is apparently off-limits, she still communicates regularly to a healthy audience of 693,000 followers on Twitter, including just after the interview aired when she shared this positive message with fans.
Pitts also questioned how Lahren lost control of her Facebook page. “I control my Facebook page, why don’t you control your Facebook page?” he asked.
“Good question,” she replied. “That’s what I want. That’s my name, that’s my picture.”
The reporter pushed Lahren to explain the Black Lives Matter as the “new KKK” tweet specifically. Though she did delete the message, she would not say that she “regretted” posting it. “I think sometimes you need a little more explanation than the characters that you’re allowed on Twitter,” Lahren said, sharing a lesson that President Trump could no doubt learn from as well.
“When your outlet is taken away from you, when your catharsis is stripped away from you, and you don’t understand why and you’re so disappointed and you’re so blindsided by it, it hurts,” she said. But as much as she “hurts,” she was careful not to come off as purely a victim.
“I don’t consider myself a feminist but boy, I won’t lay down and play dead, ever,” Lahren concluded.