Don Lemon Set to Return to CNN After Receiving Backlash for Sexist and Ageist Comments
Don Lemon‘s career at CNN was in question after he made ageist and sexist remarks towards presidential hopeful, Nikki Haley. Now, after being off the air since, the network announced Lemon will return on Wednesday and receive “formal training.”
CNN CEO, Chris Licht, emailed employees on Feb. 20 addressing the incident.
“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation,” Licht wrote. “He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with…fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes.”
Last week, Lemon apologized for his comments, calling them “inartful.”
The reference I made to a woman’s “prime” this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it. A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) February 16, 2023
During a segment on CNN This Morning, Lemon suggested that Haley was not fit to run for president since the 51-year-old was “no longer in her prime.” The comment was met with backlash from co-anchors Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, as well as Haley herself. The former South Carolina governor emailed CNN directly. “Liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job,” Haley wrote. “By the way, it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist.”
Licht claimed he was under pressure to address Lemon after receiving commentary from several employees. The Huffington Post reported Licht “chastised” Lemon during an editorial call last week, saying the comment was a “huge distraction.”
Lemon has been criticized for comments in the past but has taken accountability each time. “When I make a mistake, I own it,” Lemon said. “And I own this one as well.”