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Reports: Lemon Is Getting 'Squeezed' at CNN

AP Photo/Ron Harris

Don Lemon is at home plate with a full count right now on CNN. There were rumors that he would be shown the exit after a controversial tirade about Nikki Haley. The screed, rightfully condemned as sexist on both sides, forced Lemon to retreat into the bunker, which he later apologized over an editorial call. Rumors circled for days that he would be terminated, as new CEO Chris Licht was livid over the meltdown. 


This incident was not Lemon’s first tryst with the world of the inflammatory. Lemon won’t be fired, but the situation is precarious and he must undergo sensitivity training. “Lemon Squeeze” is how the Daily Beast described this circus, which isn’t inaccurate. He was conspicuously absent from Monday’s broadcast, which injected the ‘Lemon is being fired’ rumors with gasoline (via Daily Beast):

Don Lemon will undergo training and return to CNN airwaves on Wednesday following the fallout over his sexist and misogynistic remarks about women’s age and their “prime.” 

“To my CNN Colleagues, I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation. He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn,” CNN boss Chris Licht wrote in a memo sent to network staff on Monday evening. “We take this situation very seriously.” 

The network chief added: “It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with a fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes. To that end, Don will return to CNN This Morning on Wednesday.”

Licht and Lemon met on Monday afternoon, hours before the memo went out to staff, sources told The Daily Beast. 


Lemon is not happy being a morning host. He lost his primetime slot amid a reshuffling, which he appears to be sensitive about, claiming it’s not a demotion when it is. In December, there was an off-camera blowup at co-host Kaitlin Collins for interrupting him—an ironic point since Lemon is reportedly told to shut up and let others speak. While the incident has been reported as overblown, the tension among the hosts and the staff can be corroborated.

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