Don Lemon Controversy: This Is Why CNN Fired Its Star Host

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Don Lemon (Credits: Vox)
Don Lemon (Credits: Vox)

Television personality Don Lemon has recently been under fire for making remarks that have cost him his job. Lemon is a renowned television journalist and has worked as a host for the news channel CNN, though he has also worked with a fellow news network NBC, specifically “Today” and “NBC Nightly News.”

The fifty-seven-year-old host is said to have joined CNN back in 2006 and has worked his up ever since, even getting to the point of hosting his own show called “Don Lemon Tonight” from the year 2014 to 2022. Lemon is known to have started his career as a reporter for local news channel offices located in Birmingham, followed by some work for the Fox News channel subsidiary, where he worked as an anchor.

During his time at the NBC-owned news outlet WMAQ-TV, the host actually received three Emmy awards for his amazing local news reporting talent. Lemon continued to make space for himself in the journalism industry and joined CNN in 2006, where he continued to work under different programs and shows until very recently, when he got laid off.

To many, Lemon’s career looks like a smooth ride uphill, which it probably was. The host has been at the center of many controversies, most of which are caused by his own words and actions. Lemon has been very vocal about the political state of his country and has put out strong opinions on how Black Americans can work harder to better their current state. 

Don Lemon with co-hosts, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins
Don Lemon with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins (Credits: CNN)

While his criticisms of Trump and his racist speeches, along with his views of his fellow African Americans, have put him at the center of attention, causing him to get hated for having opinions, what the host recently said in one of his shows went a bit too far for the audience. CNN, in a shocking turn of events, decided to let go of the anchor after having him work at the office for seventeen years.

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Don Lemon’s Controversy That Got Him Fired

What could have been considered a minor live television blunder and ignored got ruined even more because the host, Don Lemon, thought it wise to elaborate on the statement he made about Republican Nikki Haley and her age. In a show Lemon co-hosted with Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow called CNN This Morning, Lemon commented on Congresswoman Nikki Haley and said that he did not think that she was a fit choice to be the presidential candidate.

Republican Nikki Haley (Credits: NBC News)
Republican Nikki Haley (Credits: NBC News)

Apparently, the fifty-one-year-old Nikki Haley is too old and “not in her prime” to be the president of the United States, but the eighty-year-old present US president works just fine for him. He could have stopped at this one remark, but he went on with his unsolicited rant to reveal his sexist thoughts about how a woman is in her prime only till she is in her forties.

He took things one step further, calling his misogynistic thinking “facts” and saying that we could “just Google it.” In an era where every day is a struggle for women, be it in their personal lives or while being a part of this toxic workforce, it is just disappointing to know that men refuse to take a hint and educate themselves on their blatant sexism.

And it seems like the viewers were over his misogyny, too, because later the same day, Lemon took to his Twitter to confess that his comments were irrelevant and uncalled for. Though he apologized and agreed to sit in training to unlearn his sexist ways, it was obvious that he was doing so under pressure and not because he actually felt guilty.

It looked like his one comment on Nikki Haley brought forth some more moments when he was being rude to his female colleagues. It was revealed that this was clearly not his first time being misogynistic towards his fellow female hosts, calling one of them fat to her face and mocking her, and even threatening another for having a more successful career than him.

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Former CNN anchor Don Lemon
Former CNN anchor Don Lemon (Credits: Forbes)

While his fragile ego and sense of inferiority are so blatant that it hurts, CNN took the right actions to deal with the host. Though the actual reasons for his firing have not been confirmed, the host was let go in April 2023. Lemon has denied all allegations made against him by other anonymous sources that were making him out to be a sexist co-worker. 

He also expressed his disappointment in CNN, calling the network out for not even taking the proper time out to inform him of his firing. CNN denied any such lousy way of dealing with the situation and mentioned that they had tried to organize a meeting with the host, but it had just not happened. 

Also Read: James Corden Controversy Explained: What Went Wrong For the Comedian?

By Tarunjyot Kaur

Tarunjyot Kaur is a content writer at OtakuKart and writes mainly entertainment-related content. she is currently put up in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. She has done her Bachelor's in Psychology. In her free time, she likes to read books, watch movies and play badminton. You can get in touch with me at

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