Don Lemon Offers Strange Apology for Nikki Haley Comment, Gets Bad News from CNN Big Boss: Report
Don Lemon apologized to his CNN colleagues for his sexist remarks on the air a day prior and was rebuked by his boss, a transcript of a company conference call reportedly shows.
Lemon apparently felt the squeeze amid the backlash and attempted to explain why he referred to women 50 and over as past their “prime” on Thursday’s airing of “CNN This Morning.”
He was taking on 51-year-old Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley over her assertion some of the country’s leaders are too old to lead.
Haley called for fresh blood as she announced her campaign for the GOP nomination in 2024.
Lemon responded by saying Thursday that women her age are “not in their prime.”
“She says people, you know, politicians or something are not in their prime,” Lemon told co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry. When a woman is considered to be in her prime — in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
Lemon’s source to back up his claims? Google.
The New York Post reported that Harlow was heated over her co-host’s disparaging remarks and went to the bathroom to cool down, and Collins joined her.
Lemon was not at work on Friday. He offered a mea culpa on Twitter Thursday afternoon in regard to his sexist remarks.
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
The tweet was apparently not enough to pass the storm.
Lemon was not on the air of his low-rated morning show Friday. “Don has the day off,” Collins told viewers.
The New York Post, however, said he was on a 9 a.m. call with CNN CEO Chris Licht and editorial staffers.
A transcript obtained by the Post indicates Lemon again apologized – this time directly to his coworkers.
Per the reported readout of the call, the CNN host pathetically invoked his mother as evidence he values women – which perfectly captures just how awful what he said is.
“The people I am closest to in this organization are women,” Lemon explained, according to the report. “The people I seek counsel to first in this organization are women. The person I am closest to is my mother, a woman.”
Licht, who was on the call, was seemingly unimpressed with the explanation offered by one of his network’s biggest names.
After he expressed he was “disappointed” in the former primetime anchor, the network head sidestepped the apology and addressed the comments, the Post reported.
“I want to say I’ve heard from a lot people in the organization both directly and indirectly about how those comments have affected you, and I want you to hear directly from me that I hear you,” Licht reportedly told all who were part of the conversation.
“Don and I have spoken at length. He knows I’m disappointed,” Lemon’s boss continued, according to the Post. “His remarks were upsetting, unacceptable and unfair to his co-hosts and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization.”
According to the transcript, Lemon continued on about how sincerely apologetic he was.
Naturally, the CNN host complained his comments were taken out of context. He explained that he meant to say that it was unfair for Haley to categorize people older than her as too old to lead.
He missed his target by a mile.
It remains to be seen if or how Lemon will be punished – or if he is even capable of understanding just how badly he stepped in it when he essentially categorized every woman over the age of 50 as washed up.
As Fox News host Tucker Carlson concluded last week in a biting monologue aimed at Lemon, the host is not the most adept at grasping complicated issues.
“In a world of intellectual pretense, Don Lemon is not ashamed of being dumb,” Carlson said.
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