Don Lemon, a co-host of CNN This Morning and, before that, a longstanding nighttime anchor of Don Lemon Tonight, revealed on Monday that he was quitting the network.
It was unclear what led to his leave right away. However, Lemon has been in the news for years due to allegations of inappropriate behavior toward his female cohosts and recent comments that questioned Republican Nikki Haley’s suitability for the presidency due to her advanced age.
Don Lemon and CNN “parted ways” amicably, the network said in a statement released early on Monday. “Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years,” the statement read. We’ll be supporting him in his future pursuits and sending him our best wishes.
Drama on Twitter, though, made it seem like those conditions might not be the best. Lemon stated he had learned about the split from his agent in a statement published six minutes prior to CNN’s tweet. Additionally, he implied that “there are some larger issues at play,” without elaborating.
“I am stunned,” he said. “I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network.”
His account of what transpired was deemed “inaccurate” by the network, which also said that he had been “offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”
His 17-year run at the network will come to an end with Lemon’s resignation, which was announced on the same day that another network (Fox) announced the departure of one of its main hosts (Tucker Carlson).
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In response to his on-air criticism of Haley when she announced her candidacy for president in February, Lemon was temporarily placed on leave. Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry, he added, adding that women are thought to be in their prime through their 30s and possibly their 40s.
Don’t shoot the messenger; I’m simply stating the facts, he responded when his co-host Poppy Harlow questioned what he meant. Google it, since, based on Google or anything, she wouldn’t be in her prime.
In her Twitter reply, Haley stated: “It’s always the liberals who are the most sexist.” Chris Licht, the chairwoman of CNN, criticized the comments as well, calling them “upsetting, unacceptable and unfair to his co-hosts, and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization.”
Don Lemon Shared this shocking news in a Twitter post :
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) April 24, 2023
Later, Lemon expressed regret and revealed that the majority of his female colleagues at the network were his closest friends: “I did not mean to hurt anyone. I did not mean to offend anyone.” Lemon has also been charged with numerous sexism and harassment instances involving his female subordinates.
After Kyra Phillips was chosen for an assignment in Iraq that he had sought for himself, according to charges reported in a Variety investigation earlier this year, Lemon allegedly tore up items on her desk and sent her threatening texts. He allegedly texted her, “Now you’ve crossed the line, and you’re going to pay for it,”
Lemon has refuted these claims, and CNN has never made them publicly known, but he was nonetheless demoted as a result. Variety also quoted sources who assert that at an editorial meeting, Lemon “disrespected” Soledad O’Brien, who had previously anchored many CNN shows, Nancy Grace, who had a primetime show on CNN’s sister network, and Nancy Grace.