EXCLUSIVE: The Inside Story Of How Tomi Lahren Flamed Out At The Blaze
Before she ever set foot on ABC’s “The View,” Tomi Lahren had used up all her good will (and then some) at The Blaze, the conservative media company founded by Glenn Beck.
That’s according to several sources with direct knowledge of the situation, all of whom spoke with The Daily Caller on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the issue. Lahren is currently suing, and being sued by, Beck and The Blaze, and the two parties recently agreed to a mutual non-disparagement agreement that legally prohibits The Blaze employees from publicly criticizing Lahren, and vice versa. The Blaze sent employees a reminder on Tuesday night to comply with the non-disparagement agreement.
Lahren’s recent appearance on ABC’s “The View” where she referred to pro-life conservatives as “hypocrites” was just the final straw in her relationship with The Blaze, the sources said. The Blaze pulling from the air the controversial 24-year-old host was a long time coming, due as much to her behavior off camera as on.
Lahren, who did not reply to TheDC’s interview request, treated staffers and floor workers with contempt and disdain, seemed to enjoy provoking her colleagues and ultimately appeared to care more about causing controversy — whether good or bad — than she cared about being honest, sources said.
She often butted heads with other BlazeTV personalities and seemed jealous when others received public attention. Lahren seemed to especially dislike BlazeTV host Dana Loesch, and would avoid her at all costs — even refusing to enter the makeup room if Loesch was present. Loesch declined to comment for this story.
Lahren and another popular BlazeTV host, Lawrence Jones, often butted heads as well. After the Dallas police shooting last summer, Lahren compared Black Lives Matter to the KKK, writing on Twitter: “Meet the new KKK, they call themselves ‘Black Lives Matter’ but make no mistake their goals are far from equality.”
Lahren and Jones, who is black, were seen heatedly arguing about the statement, which Lahren eventually deleted from Twitter.
Jones, who declined to comment for this story, wasn’t the only one rubbed the wrong way by Lahren’s comments about black people, sources said. Several others at the company grew irritated with her over the way she handled racial issues.
“Even when you wanted to give her a chance, she would go out of her way” to make people mad, one person said. “It’s like she got a high off of creating a hostile work environment.”
One of the biggest problems with Lahren, sources said, was that she didn’t seem to care what people were saying about her as much as she cared that they were talking about her. “At least they’re talking about me,” sources quoted her as regularly saying.
Lahren became more polarizing as she grew in fame and realized she could go viral by being divisive, sources said. “She was always trying to chase that next million-view video,” one said.
Despite her success on Facebook, Lahren’s show performed relatively poorly on live TV, struggling to keep regular viewers and advertisers, the sources said. The Blaze’s countersuit against Lahren noted that “several advertisers reported that Lahren was difficult to work with and that their advertisements performed poorly on her show, which resulted in lower than expected advertising support for Lahren.”
Off camera, Lahren was a “diva” who expected royal treatment to the extreme, sources said.
Lahren demanded staffers heat up her “butt warming pad” in the microwave before every show, those sources said. “She expected to be treated like a queen,” one source said, referring to Lahren’s butt pad demands as “dehumanizing” to her staff, adding: “To demand they warm your butt pad is absurd.”
Lahren was known for yelling and cursing at staff and makeup artists. She often singled out one of the two makeup artists working for The Blaze, yelling at and embarrassing her, even in front of guests. It got to the point where Lahren refused to work with that makeup artist.
Lahren’s decision to share her wardrobe budget — $40,000 — in an interview with The Ringer alienated many of her staff, sources said, in part because she was contractually forbidden from disclosing that information, and in part because some of her crew made less than Lahren’s entire clothing budget.
Many of those same complaints were echoed in The Blaze’s countersuit, filed in Texas court on Monday.
“Lahren’s treatment of the floor crew was inappropriate and unprofessional, constantly complaining about everything including but not limited to lighting, room temperature, editing, shooting, directing, etc,” the countersuit states. “Lahren was divisive and created conflicts with other media personalities at TheBlaze.”
The countersuit notes that “Lahren would not work with one of two full time make-up artists, which resulted in a report to TheBlaze’s human resources department.”
Lahren’s work ethic was also problematic, sources said, and she would often refuse to work morning hours.
“She’s just not a pro and has ambition above her skill set and attitude,” another source said. “She created a toxic atmosphere and was not easy for people to work with.”
As a result, she drove more and more people at The Blaze against her.
“Over the last year there have been a ton of stories about TheBlaze based on anonymous sources within TheBlaze, many of which have not been flattering to the company. And yet, I’ve not seen a single story about anonymous sources within TheBlaze who say that Tomi is a really nice person who is being treated unfairly,” yet another source told TheDC. “Wonder why that is?”
Before her appearance on “The View,” Lahren had been a vocal abortion critic. In her appearance on “The View,” Lahren said, “I am a constitutional, y’know, someone that loves the Constitution. I’m someone that’s for limited government. So 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.”
Lahren’s statement, The Blaze’s countersuit said, “not only diverged dramatically from her previous public positions but also effectively called many of TheBlaze’s employees, viewers, and readers hypocrites.” In a December segment two months prior, Lahren referred to abortion supporters as “baby-killers.”
Lahren has claimed she was taken off-air because she was pro-choice, but she isn’t the only prominent, pro-choice female host The Blaze has employed. Political commentator Amy Holmes worked at The Blaze for years as an openly pro-choice woman. After Beck was criticized for pulling Lahren off-air, Holmes came to his defense. “My open pro-choice views were never an issue for [Glenn Beck] who hired me to help launch the network,” she wrote on Twitter.
One key difference between Lahren and Holmes, according to one source familiar with the situation: “Amy Holmes was honest.”