Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
Don Lemon, a once-fiery political commentator and top anchor at CNN, has been terminated from the network after sexist statements as a morning show co-host. The decision to part ways was mutual, according to CNN. However, the parting of ways appears to be new news for Lemon, who took to Twitter shortly after the network’s announcement.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned,” the former news CNN news journalist stated.
Lemon, who had been with the network for 17 years, was a fixture of CNN’s prime-time lineup before his morning show tenure. The announcement was made in a statement on Monday, but despite the news, he appeared on air as normal that morning.
“After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to contine to do the work I have loved at the network,” Don Lemon added.
Nevetheless, the network’s Twitter statement thanked Lemon for his contributions and declared him a member of the “CNN family” forever.
CNN also refuted the statemeate of him not being given the opportunity to meet with upper management. “Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter,” posted by CNN Communications.
Still clueless, Lemon added, “It is clear that there are some larger issues at play.”
The decision comes after Lemon sparked controversy in February with remarks about women and aging that were widely deemed sexist statements. On-air, he remarked that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who is 51, was “not in her prime” and that women are considered to be in their prime in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.
His comments generated a public backlash, and CNN’s chairman, Chris Licht, rebuked him publicly. Despite apologies, research showed Lemon’s popularity had fallen along with viewership.
After being terminated, Lemon did thank his colleagues at the network, writing, “I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run. They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best.