Don Lemon sacked by CNN following ‘sexist’ comments about Nikki Haley
CNN host Don Lemon has been sacked by the cable news network just two months after apologising for on-air comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.
Chairman and CEO Chris Licht announced after Lemon had co-hosted Monday’s show that they had “parted ways”.
However, the presenter insisted he was fired and that the decision was a surprise to him.
“After 17 years at CNN I would have thought someone in management would have the decency to tell me directly,” he said on Twitter.
The move follows a discussion on CNN This Morning in February with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins about the ages of politicians.
Lemon said Ms Haley was not “in her prime” – insisting for that to be the case she would have to be “in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s”.
When asked if he meant “prime for childbearing or… prime for being president”, Lemon said: “Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying what the facts are.”
Lemon issued a statement the same day saying he regretted his “inartful and irrelevant” comments.
He was missing from the show for three days, returning the following week with a tweeted apology but no mention of the episode on air.
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Haley, who described Lemon’s statements as sexist, said the decision to remove Lemon from the network was a “great day for women everywhere”.
Lemon used to host the primetime Don Lemon Tonight but moved when the network launched CNN This Morning last November.
He has hit the headlines before, including last year when he said the US men’s football team should be paid more than the women’s team because they were “more interesting to watch”.
And he had a well-publicised on-air row with Collins in December when he accused her of trying to interrupt him.