After 17 years at CNN, Don Lemon has been terminated from his anchor role at the network, following allegations of mistreatment towards female colleagues. Lemon announced the news on Twitter, expressing shock that he was not informed directly by management.
“I am stunned,” Lemon wrote. “After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly.”
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) April 24, 2023
CNN CEO Chris Licht released a statement to NBC News Monday, confirming that the network and Lemon have “parted ways” and that Lemon will no longer be with the network. “Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years,” Licht’s statement said.
However, CNN’s communications department put out a tweet saying:
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.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) April 24, 2023
Lemon’s termination comes after Variety published a story earlier this month, alleging that he has a long history of questionable behavior toward women on and off the network. The report was based on more than a dozen former and current colleagues, Variety said, who described Lemon as openly hostile to women. Lemon faced backlash earlier this year for widely criticized comments he made on-air regarding Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley. The comment was made while discussing a suggestion by Haley that candidates over the age of 75 should be subjected to mental competency exams.
In response to the Variety report, Lemon’s spokesperson released a statement to NBC News, calling the story “riddled with patently false anecdotes and no concrete evidence.” The spokesperson said the report was “entirely based on unsourced, unsubstantiated, 15-year-old anonymous gossip.”
“When you have black skin and you live in this country, then you can disagree with me.” @DonLemon, we should be able to have open debate no matter our skin color. It’s time to start talking openly again. All of us.
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) April 19, 2023