Don Lemon, who had not been anchoring CNN’s “CNN This Morning” since last Thursday, has returned to the network.
Lemon will return “despite delivering a set of controversial remarks last week, the latest maneuver in what has become a more difficult than expected effort by the Warner Bros Discovery-backed outlet to shake up its programming,” reports Variety.
CNN CEO Chris Licht said in a memo:
“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation. He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously.
“It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes. To that end, Don will return to CNN This Morning on Wednesday.”
Variety further reports:
“Lemon, who has become one of CNN’s best-known anchors after leading a late-evening program that gave him room to talk about controversial issues involving race and culture, has not been on “CNN This Morning” since last Thursday. That’s when he made some remarks about when women are in their prime, during a segment about comments from new Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley regarding the age of some of her political rivals.
“She says people, you know, politicians or something are not in their prime,” Lemon said on the program. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.” The comment spurred co-anchor Poppy Harlow to try to get Lemon to modify his stance. “What are you talking about, wait — prime for what?” she asked, a move that resulted in Lemon stepping even further into his position. “If you Google ‘when is a woman in her prime,’ it’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s,” he replied.
Lemon subsequently apologized to viewers via social media and to CNN staffers on Friday during an internal editorial call.