Don Lemon has been fired by CNN after 17 years.
In a statement posted to Twitter, he wrote: ‘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 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. 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.’
CNN’s communications team denied Lemon’s claims that he’d been sacked without ceremony, saying his ‘statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.’
Network CEO Chris Licht confirmed the firing in an internal message, thanking Lemon for 17 years on air and telling staff he would ‘forever be a part of the CNN family.’
Licht added that he was ‘committed’ to the success of CNN This Morning, the flailing morning news show Lemon had been helming with anchors Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
Lemon signed off from the show at 8:56am Monday morning, saying ‘Bye everyone,’ with a wave. Little more than three hours later at 12:14pm, he announced his surprise firing in a tweet.
Lemon waves goodbye at the end of CNN This Morning – a moment that would prove to be his final appearance as a CNN anchor after 17 years with the network
CNN anchor Don Lemon was fired from the network on Monday after months of controversy
Don Lemon tweeted out his outrage that he had been fired from CNN on Monday afternoon
Shortly after news of Lemon’s firing broke, a source told DailyMail.com ‘Don was given every indication when he made the fake a** apology for his disgusting comments and, still, no one wanted anything to do with him.’
They continued, ‘No one owes him anything. He should have had the decency to not be a misogynistic, sexist POS.’
‘Don truly believed he was going to always get a get out of jail free card because he is black and gay, which worked to his advantage until it couldn’t.’
‘It doesn’t matter what color you are or what your sexuality is. He lost the respect of all of the women on staff, and no one wanted to work with him.’
‘Even after this, he still acted no differently and would give the women he worked with attitude because he could sense that they felt a certain way still.
‘Good riddance and good luck getting a job elsewhere.’
Lemon has been mired in controversy in recent months following mounting claims about his misogyny at the network.
During a segment of CNN This Morning in February, Lemon said that women who were older than 40 years old were ‘past their prime,’ causing outrage among staffers and viewers alike.
He made the comments while discussing presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s proposal that politicians ages 75 and up should face mental competency tests
Lemon, who at 56 is five years older than Haley, 51, said the politician should tread lightly on the topic because ‘a woman is in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.’
Harlow and Collins responded with apparent incredulity to the comment, only for Lemon to double down and insist that if viewers ‘Google it’ they would see he was right.
Both co-anchors reportedly stormed off the set after the segment, and Lemon’s position at the network was cast into doubt as staffers and viewers alike called for his sacking over what they said was just another incident in a long pattern of troubling misogynistic behavior from Lemon.
Sources inside CNN told DailyMail.com that female were telling management to pick between them and Lemon, saying ‘if Don doesn’t go, others have threatened to quit’.
‘People are hurt by his actions and are not going to let this go. It is like every woman over 50 in America has taken this as a personal insult. The female staffers at CNN definitely have. He needs to make his vacation a permanent one,’ the source said.
Lemon was not ousted at the time however, and instead was forced to deliver an apology to staffers, saying ‘What I said came out wrong and I wish I hadn’t said it. I believe women of any age can do anything they set their minds to. The people I am closest to in this organization are women.’
CNN CEO Chris Licht may be fired by Labor Day confirmed the firing of Don Lemon on Monday
Lemon rose to glory in the Trump years while as CNN’s primetime liberal mouthpiece under the leadership of former CEO Jeff Zucker.
But after Trump left office and CNN’s ratings started to plummet, Zucker was ousted and his replacement, Licht, vowed to return CNN to more even-keeled journalism.
Last November Lemon was bumped to CNN This Morning, where he broadcast alongside the 40-year-old Harlow and 30-year-old rising star Collins, and reportedly spent the following months griping about his new posting.
Things started on the wrong foot when Harlow and Collins accused him of mansplaining why the US men’s soccer team should get paid more than women’s – despite the team’s lack of success.
Lemon insisted that he was joking when he said that men were ‘more interesting to watch,’ and added ‘You cannot make people become interested in something they are not interested in.’
Upon receiving swift pushback from Harlow, he quickly caveated his opinion with the blanket statement, saying ‘I’m not sexist.’
Don Lemon once reigned supreme in the primetime slot at CNN during Trump’s presidency
Lemon was former CNN’s CEO Jeff Zucker’s primetime liberal mouthpiece for years
Days later during a December 8 segment, Lemon steamrollered through Collins as she tried to get a word in during a discussion about the release of Brittney Griner.
During the obviously tense exchange, Collins could be heard trying to offer insight, while an obviously irritated Lemon at first appeared to ignore her, then looked right at her as he continued on with his sentence.
After pausing for a moment, Lemon continued speaking without once acknowledging what Collins had said. He spoke for a further 40 seconds before allowing Collins into the discussion.
The incident reportedly sparked a ‘screaming’ meltdown from the former primetime host, who was irate at Collins for interrupting him, according to the New York Post.
Licht was supposedly stunned at the news and told Lemon to take the following day off to ‘cool off.’
After a particularly icy on-screen reunion following reports of Lemon’s meltdown, Collins was sent to Capitol Hill to cover President Biden’s State of the Union Address.
After Collins finished a broadcast of an interview to the show, Harlow began praising her reporting before Lemon suddenly cut in to talk about the importance of fact-checking.
Harlow pressed on to say, ‘That’s why we have Kaitlan Collins on the Hill fact-checking in real time’, but Lemon continued ‘I just cant believe that we’re here’ and forced producers to stop commercial-break music to finish his point.
CNN This Morning co-host Don Lemon gets defensive about his stance that no one really wants to watch women’s soccer
Lemon reportedly angered both his CNN This Morning co-hosts, Kaitlan Collins (left) and Poppy Harlow (right), with his on-set behavior
Things came to a head in February during the discussion about GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s proposal that politicians ages 75 and up should face mental competency tests, Lemon said discussing age in politics was ‘the wrong road to go down,’ then quickly went down that road.
‘She says people, you know, politicians are suddenly not in their prime. Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry, when a woman is in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s,’ he said.
Harlow cut Lemon off, asking ‘What are you talking about? Prime for what?’ before Lemon pressed on while insisting ‘That’s not according to me.’
‘It depends. It’s just like, prime. If you look it up. If you Google ‘What is a woman in her prime’ it’ll say 20s, 30s, 40s,’ he said. ‘I’m not saying I agree with that. So, I think she has to be careful about saying that, you know, politicians are in their prime.’
‘Are you talking about prime for, like, childbearing? Or are you talking about prime for being president?’ Harlow asked.
‘Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying what the facts are,’ Lemon responded. ‘Google it. Everybody at home, when is a woman in her prime? It says 20s, 30s and 40s.’
‘I’m just saying Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politics are not in their prime, and they need to be in their prime when they serve. She would not be in her prime according to Google or whatever it is.’
Don Lemon defends his claim that women over 40-years old are ‘past their prime’
Don Lemon told viewers to ‘Google it’ when his co-hosts pushed back on his claims about women being ‘past their prime’ over 40-years old
Don Lemon asked SE Cupp whether she lost her train of thought because of ‘mommy brain’
Throughout the interaction, Lemon directed all of his comments to Harlow, while Collins remained out of the fray. Later during the show when CNN podcast host Audie Cornish joined and questioned Lemon’s point, he refused to back down.
‘The idea of prime that you Google on the internet, that’s about sexual and reproductive prime, that’s not actually about mental health and aging.’ Cornish said. ‘No one is going look at Nikki Haley and say, ‘is she in her prime or not?”
Lemon responded, ‘Eh, I don’t know.’
Harlow reportedly stormed off the set after the exchange, according to a report from the New York Post.
Lemon’s comments left CNN staffers upset about yet another questionable incident involving the beleaguered host, according to The Daily Beast.
‘There were grumbles of mansplaining,’ a source said, ‘And how much longer the women should have to be talked down to before there’s a change.’
Numerous staffers also complained internally about Lemon’s show, the Daily Beast reported.
Back in September, Lemon was also accused of misogyny after asking a Republican panelist SE Cupp, 43, whether she was suffering from ‘mommy brain’ after losing her train of thought.
After Cupp finished her point, Lemon ignored what she said and instead focused on her verbal lapse.
‘Is it fair to say this, because I’m not a mommy, but is it mommy brain?’ he asked.
Cupp appeared bewildered by the question as a silence hung over the panel for a moment.
‘No,’ she finally said, drawing the word out, ‘I just forgot what I was going to say.’
Lemon’s behavior towards women goes much farther back. In 2018 he was called out for repeatedly interrupting two female commentators on a panel, then told another male panelist to not interrupt and let the women finish their points.
Then in June 2021, Lemon was called out on social media in June of 2021, accused of interrupting and being rude to panelist Brianna Kielar.
The pair had been discussing then-president Trump and the Republican party, where Lemon described him as the ‘Wizard of OZ’.
Host Brianna attempts to make a point, and Don quickly says, ‘hang on Brianna, please,’ and continued on with his opinion.
Some on Twitter said he ‘dressed down’ his female co-worker, accusing him of talking to women ‘just like Donald Trump.’
And while interviewing Joan Tarshis, a woman who accused Bill Cosby of forcing her into oral-sex, Lemon drew fire for asking her why she didn’t stop him from raping her by biting his penis.
The best of the worst of Don Lemon
Was Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 swallowed by a black hole? – During coverage of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in 2014, Don Lemon asked a panel of experts whether it was possible the Boeing jet might have been swallowed up by a black hole:
‘People are saying to me, why aren’t you talking about the possibility – and I’m just putting it out there – that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?’ he asked.
‘What if it was something fully that we don’t really understand? A lot of people have been asking about that, about black holes and on, and on, and on, and all of these conspiracy theories,’ he continued, adding comparisons to the Bermuda Triangle and the television show Lost.
US Department of Transportation inspector general Mary Schiavo said the theories were unlikely:
‘Well, it is. A small black hole would suck in our entire universe so we know it’s not that. The Bermuda Triangle is often weather. And Lost is a TV show,’ she said.
Don Lemon espouses about whether a missing jetliner was sucked into a Black Hole
Why didn’t you just bite his penis? – While interviewing Bill Cosby sexual assault accuser Joan Tarshis, Lemon asked her why she didn’t stop him from raping her by biting his penis:
‘You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you don’t want to do it,’ he said.
‘I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, I that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have,’ Tashis said.
‘Right. Meaning the using of teeth, right?’ Lemon asked, ‘As a weapon.’
‘Ouch,’ Tashis said, ‘No, it didn’t cross my mind.’
Pull your pants up, black people – In 2013 while talking about Bill O’Reilly’s controversial comments that unmarried black women need to stop having children and inner city schools need to enforce discipline, Lemon argued the Fox news host’s plans to elevate black people wasn’t as bold as it should be.
‘In my estimation, he doesn’t go far enough,’ said Lemon, ‘Walking around with your a** and your underwear showing is not okay. In fact, it comes from prison. When they take away belts from prisoners so they can’t make a weapon. And then it evolved into which role each prisoner would have during male-on-male prison sex.’
Lemon went on to explain black people should stop using the N-word, and refrain from littering.
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