CNN has surprisingly split from presenter Don Lemon after 17 years

“I’m stunned”: CNN presenter Don Lemon surprisingly released after 17 years

Presenter Don Lemon worked for CNN for 17 years – the broadcaster did not publicly say why he now has to vacate his post

© ERIN SCHAFF/The New York Times/Redux/laif

Longtime CNN host Don Lemon has been surprisingly fired after 17 years. The circumstances of his release are not officially known, but according to media reports, allegations of sexism could play a role.

Longtime CNN host Don Lemon has been surprisingly fired. The 57-year-old worked for CNN for 17 years, where he hosted the evening show for a long time and the morning show for six months. On Monday morning he was still moderating the show at local time, later he said in a statement on Twitter that his agent had informed him of his termination. “I’m stunned. I would have thought that after 17 years the management would have the decency to tell me that themselves,” he continues to write. There were no signs of his termination. “It’s clear that there are bigger problems at play here,” he adds, without going into detail.

The station itself responded promptly in its own post on Twitter that Lemon’s representation was incorrect. He was given the opportunity to speak to management, which he declined. In an earlier statement, CNN said, even more forgivingly, that the network and presenter were “parting ways” and that Lemon “will forever be a part of the CNN family.”

Media report speaks of problematic handling of women by the CNN moderator

So far, CNN has not publicly addressed the exact reasons for his termination. However, some US media linked his termination to a report published in early April by Variety magazine. This is said to be based on anonymous statements by former and current Lemons colleagues, according to which Lemon is said to have repeatedly behaved and expressed problems towards female CNN colleagues over the years. In 2008, there were also said to be anonymous, threatening text messages to a former colleague of Lemons, which an internal investigation allegedly traced back to the moderator. The statements on which the report is based have not been independently verified.

A spokesman for the moderator sharply criticized the report after it was published as untrue and based on “false anecdotes”. CNN itself pointed out that, according to Lemon, the texting incident never happened and that he was not aware of an internal investigation. The broadcaster could not confirm the events described 15 years ago.

In February, Lemon also attracted negative attention for sexist comments about Republican politician and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley. The 51-year-old previously said during a speech on her presidential candidacy that it was time for a “new generation to lead us into the future” as some politicians were already past their “best years”. She probably alluded to the old age of Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Lemon then said on his morning show that Haley herself wasn’t in her prime either, because: “A woman’s prime is in her 20’s, 30’s and maybe 40’s.” This can be confirmed with a simple Google search. He had received a lot of criticism for this and later apologized on Twitter. According to CNN CEO Chris Licht, Lemon had to go through internal training for this.

Also on Monday it was announced that the conservative broadcaster Fox News had fired its controversial presenter Tucker Carlson. Just a day earlier, NBCUniversal boss Jeff Shell was also forced to resign after admitting he was having an affair with an employee.

Sources: CNBC, CBS NewsVariety“, “time“, starTwitter

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