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'I am Stunned': Don Lemon Terminated by CNN

Photo by Jason Mendez/Invision/AP

Embattled and controversial CNN host Don Lemon announced on Monday afternoon that he'd been fired by CNN after weeks of negative stories swirling around him for his on-air statements and off-camera behavior.


"I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN," Lemon wrote, adding "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," Lemon added. "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," he claimed despite being warned repeatedly for his controversial statements that saw him forced into taking "sensitivity training."

Taking a swipe at his now-former employer, Lemon said "It is clear that there are some larger issues at play," though he did not enumerate what he thought they might be. "With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run," Lemon explained. "They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best." 

CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht painted the situation a bit differently in an email to the network's employees. "CNN and Don have parted ways," Licht described the departure. "Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years," the CNN boss added. "We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors."


As for CNN This Morning, on which Lemon served as co-host, Licht said CNN remains "committed to its success" — even as ratings remain stubbornly headed in the wrong direction.

UPDATE: CNN's public relations team disputed Don Lemon's characterization of his departure in a follow-up statement on Monday. "Don Lemon's statement about this morning's events is inaccurate," CNN communications said on Twitter. "He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter."

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