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 February 28, 2023

Don Lemon removed from key hosting role by CNN after Haley remarks

Following Don Lemon's comments regarding GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley earlier this month that many felt were sexist, CNN's higher management has removed him from hosting a significant network event.

Lemon had been scheduled to moderate a "Agents of Change" event in New York last week to honor Black History Month, but his past remarks about Haley and women, in general, damaged his reputation and caused him to be fired from the position, according to TMZ.

“We’re told Don was worried about his current news coverage overtaking the event, and our sources tell us event coordinators at Douglas Elliman agreed … so he bowed out,” the outlet reported, saying he was replaced by real estate broker John Gomes.

After making his comments last week, Lemon faced calls to have him fired. He will return to the airways to work alongside co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins after receiving "formal training" for sexism, according to network executives, The First TV said.

“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation. He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continue to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously.

"It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with 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,” CNN CEO Chris Licht told staff on Tuesday.

Lemon said that Haley was beyond her "prime" when he lambasted her for supporting "mandatory mental competence tests" for elected officials who are 75 years old or older.

In order to support his claim that Haley, who is 51 years old, will have a tough time winning the presidency since women are only regarded as being in their prime during their "20s, 30s, and 40s," Lemon cited "Google."

“I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it. Everybody at home, when is a woman in her prime, it says 20s, 30s, and 40s,” he said to morning co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins.

“And I’m just saying Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politicians are not in their prime, and they need to be in their prime when they serve. Because she wouldn’t be in her prime according to Google or whatever it is.”

According to the claim, Collins followed Harlow as she left the set "furious" for a restroom break.

According to a source who talked to The Post, “Chris isn’t happy and he has spoken to Don a couple of times today. Don is aware that it won't happen again."

Lemon tweeted an apology following the outrage: “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.”

Haley responded, saying “To be clear, I am NOT calling for competency tests for sexist middle-aged CNN anchors; only for people who make our laws and are 75+.”

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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