Don Lemon and most of his fellow CNN hosts don’t get boozy on TV anymore, but that doesn’t prevent all instances of stepping in it. Lemon dropped himself into a well of controversy, which has nothing to do with claims from George Santos, while discussing Republican 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley on CNN’s This Morning. Last week, things got heated on the subject of Haley questioning the mental competency of Donald Trump, and then, yeah, something bad happened.
As revealed in the below clip, Lemon declared (although he attempted to couch the remarks as “not according to me”) that Haley “isn’t in her prime,” and he stated as much given her age of 51 years. He continued to unfortunately ramble while adding that women are “considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.” As one might expect, this didn’t go over kindly with Lemon’s co-hosts, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. Also, Meghan McCain weighed in on Twitter:
Sexist pig. https://t.co/FePDPyhX5M
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) February 16, 2023
This caused plenty of backlash, of course, from all political ends of the spectrum with the Left expressing disappointment and the Right expressing contempt for apparent hypocrisy from Lemon. The former Don Lemon Tonight host didn’t appear on Monday or Tuesday morning’s edition of his new stomping grounds. Yet as CNN itself reports, Lemon will return to the air on Wednesday, and he’ll participate in “formal training” for why he shouldn’t, you know, say these things. Yikes. Here’s more from CNN with quotes from CEO Chris Licht via a companywide email:
“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation,” Licht wrote in a memo. “He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously.”
“It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with … fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes,” Licht added. “To that end, Don will return to CNN This Morning on Wednesday.”
As for Lemon, he apologized to his colleagues on Friday. “When I make a mistake, I own it,” Lemon admitted. “And I own this one as well.”