Don Lemon Returning to CNN, Will Undergo ‘Formal Training’ Following Sexist Comments About Nikki Haley
CNN anchor Don Lemon will return to the network on Wednesday after making sexist comments about Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley and the years women are “considered to be in their prime” during a broadcast last week.
As CNN itself reported, the network’s CEO, Chris Licht, announced Lemon’s return in an email Monday night. Licht said he’d had a “frank and meaningful conversation” with Lemon and that the news anchor had “agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn.”
Lemon, who hasn’t appeared on CNN since making the comments last Thursday, Feb. 16, issued an apology on Twitter, calling his comments “inartful and irrelevant.” He apologized to his colleagues during an editorial meeting last Friday, too, saying, “When I make a mistake, I own it. And I own this one as well,” Lemon said. “I believe that women of any age… can do whatever they set their minds to.”
Lemon also reportedly touted his relationships with women at CNN during his apology, saying, “The people I am closest to in this organization are women. The people I seek counsel from most in this organization are women.”
The offending comments occurred during a discussion on CNN This Morning about an arguably ageist remark from Haley, who launched her 2024 presidential bid by saying there should be mental competency tests for politicians older than 75. Rather than critiquing the comment for all the obvious reasons it should be critiqued, Lemon argued that Haley, who’s 51, “isn’t in her prime,” adding, “when a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
Lemon received some pushback from his co-anchors, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, the former asking if he meant the “prime” age for having children. Lemon then said, “Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it, everybody at home … 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.”
Haley responded to the comments as well, tweeting, “Liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job. BTW it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist.” And she sent out a fundraising email around the clip, too.
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