A week after Jeanine Pirro questioned U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s hijab and patriotism on the air, Fox News pulled “Justice With Judge Jeanine” because of “scheduling matters.”
Pirro’s show was replaced Saturday night by a rerun of the documentary series “Scandalous: The Trial of William Kennedy Smith.”
“We are not commenting on internal scheduling matters,” Fox News said in a statement Sunday to USA TODAY. The network wouldn’t elaborate on why Pirro’s show didn’t air during its weekend slot.
Related: Whoopi Goldberg, Jeanine Pirro explain what happened during and after ‘The View’ shouting match
Pirro has been embroiled in controversy following a segment last week, where she questioned if Omar’s headscarf means the Minnesota congresswoman prioritizes Sharia law above the U.S. Constitution she took an oath to protect and defend.
“Omar wears the hijab, which according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested,” Pirro said during her “Opening Statement” segment on March 10. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”
It’s not unusual for Pirro to get criticized for the things she says on the air but it is slightly out of the ordinary for the rebukes to come from within Fox News itself.
In a statement to USA TODAY, Fox said, “We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”
Fox staffer Hufsa Kamal made a personal appeal to her colleague: “@JudgeJeanine, can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough? You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself.”
Pirro’s remarks prompted several advertisers to leave her show, including drugmaker Novo Nordisk. “We respect each person’s right to express their thinking and beliefs, however, we are re-evaluating our advertising on this program at this time,” the company said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Later, Pirro issued an invitation to Omar to appear on her show and said she merely intended to “ask a question and start a debate.” She reassured the network and viewers that she knows that being a Muslim “does not mean you don’t support the Constitution.”
Pirro, an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, received his support on Twitter Sunday morning.
“Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro,” Trump tweeted. “The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well.”
In another tweet, Trump said the network’s competitors are only jealous of their ratings adding, “they all want what you’ve got – NUMBER ONE.”
It is not clear when Pirro’s show will return to the air. As of now, “Justice With Judge Jeanine” does not appear on the Fox News schedule for the upcoming weekend.
Contributing: Jayme Deerwester, Mike Snider and The Associated Press
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