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.
Don Lemon: "Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry, when a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s, and 30s, and maybe 40s…"— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 16, 2023
Poppy Harlow: "Are you talking about prime for like child bearing?"
"Don’t shoot the messenger! I’m just saying what the facts are! Google it!" pic.twitter.com/n1HmtkWTpl
Nikki Haley responding to Don Lemon's comments about her on CNN:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 17, 2023
"I have always made the liberals' heads explode. They can't stand the fact that a minority, conservative, female would not be on the Democratic side." pic.twitter.com/p8FY7eqOgT
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.
Don Lemon getting forced DEI training is better than anything currently on CNN https://t.co/FmsBU7vbXB— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) February 21, 2023
CNN president Chris Licht on his decision to bring back Don Lemon this week after his "women in their prime" comment on Thursday: "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."— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) February 21, 2023
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.
"Formal training" being forced on a 56-year-old "anchor" is sooooo CNN. This will fix everything. https://t.co/DNIZiEsZcX— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) February 21, 2023