Longtime CNN anchor Don Lemon has been removed from the morning news lineup for Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, after making a blatantly sexist remark the previous week. Multiple reports state that Lemon’s future at the news network is a topic of discussion by CNN honchos.
Lemon and co-anchor Poppy Harlow were discussing the merits of Nikki Haley’s candidacy for the 2024 presidential election when he uttered the infamous statement: “a woman is considered to be in their prime in [their] 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
A puzzled Harlow quickly queried Lemon for clarification, to which he replied : “If you Google ‘when is a woman in her prime,’ it’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s.”
The surge of indignation directed at Lemon was intense in the immediate aftermath of his faux pas and he was soon compelled to offer his mea culpa on social media:
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
Lemon also reportedly apologized on an editorial call with CNN staffers and bosses the next morning. “I’m sorry that I said it,” Lemon said. “And I certainly see why people found it completely misguided. When I make a mistake, I own it. And I own this one as well.”
CNN CEO Chris Licht labeled the comments “disappointing” on that same call, according to The Daily Beast.
“His remarks were upsetting, unacceptable, and unfair to his co-hosts, and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization,” Licht said.
Moreover, the publication Confider reported that “there are ongoing conversations about Don’s future. He is a constant distraction.”