Don Lemon leaves CNN, Says he was fired
Don Lemon is leaving CNN after 17 years of pushing boundaries.
The anchor, who has become one of the station’s most popular faces, announced on social media Monday that he had been ousted from CNN.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN 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. It is clear that there are some larger issues at play,” Lemon said. “With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run. They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best.”
“Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years,” said CNN CEO Chris Licht in a statement. “We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors.”
Lemon anchored “CNN This Morning” with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. The show has been on the air for nearly six months
Lemon joined CNN in September 2006. Prior to “CNN This Morning,” Lemon hosted the prime-time show “Don Lemon Tonight” for more than eight years.
In mid-February, Lemon caused an uproar when, during a discussion on “CNN This Morning” with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins about the ages of politicians, he said that the 51-year-old Haley was not “in her prime.” A woman, he said, was considered in her prime “in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”
Harlow challenged Lemon, trying to clarify what he was referencing: “I think we need to qualify. Are you talking about prime for childbearing or are you talking about prime for being president?”
“Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying what the facts are,” Lemon responded. He brought up the subject again an hour later, and was rebutted by commentator Audie Cornish.
Lemon issued a statement saying he regretted his “inartful and irrelevant” comments, which Haley herself called the comments sexist and used to fundraise. He was subsequently absent from the show for three days, returning the following week with a tweeted apology but no mention of the episode on air.