Host Don Lemon has been fired by CNN, he announced Monday afternoon.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated. I am stunned,” Lemon wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.
He had worked at the outlet for 17 years, and said he believed “that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly.”
“At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear that there are some larger issues at play,” he wrote.
Shortly after Lemon’s announcement, CNN characterized the situation as the company having “parted ways” with the host.
“Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions,” the company tweeted. “We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors.”
The high-profile departure comes just after Fox News announced that host Tucker Carlson was leaving the outlet. It’s a major shift for both companies, as they lose two of the most popular hosts on cable television.
Last year, Lemon was pulled from his prestigious solo primetime gig to an ensemble morning show alongside co-anchors Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins last year, but he insisted the move wasn’t a demotion. In fact, he even went on CNN and said Licht offered him a “promotion.”
It didn’t take long for “CNN This Morning” to make tabloid news after the show’s launch in November 2022.
On Dec. 8, during CNN’s breaking news of Brittney Griner’s release from Russia, there were multiple on-air instances where Collins attempted to interject while Lemon was speaking. At one point, Lemon wagged his finger above the desk and told her “stand by one second.”
While off-air, however, 56-year-old Lemon got “nasty” at 30-year-old Collins, scolding her for interrupting him, which left her “visibly upset,” a source who witnessed the exchange told Fox News Digital.
The New York Post first reported on the incident, causing headaches for CNN honchos.
Lemon found himself in hot water again in February for claiming Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley was past her “prime” at age 51, citing Google as his source while stunning his female co-anchors in the process. Lemon offered a mea culpa during the network’s editorial call the next day, but female colleagues weren’t pleased.
Colleagues were further enraged when Lemon was spotted on Miami Beach after the insensitive remarks about Haley. Lemon was then ordered to take “formal training” but returned to his struggling morning show just days later.
Lemon’s “prime” comments were universally panned and not just by conservatives, receiving mockery from Biden spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre during a White House briefing and even making its way to this year’s Oscars ceremony. Best Actress winner Michelle Yeoh told women in Hollywood, “Don’t let anybody tell you, you are ever past your prime.”
Those remarks were hardly the first time Lemon’s on-air rhetoric sparked backlash among female viewers, however.
In 2014, he infamously asked a Bill Cosby accuser why she didn’t simply bite his penis to prevent an alleged rape. Last September, he asked CNN analyst S.E. Cupp if she was suffering from “mommy brain” after she lost her train of thought during a panel discussion. In December, Lemon clashed with his female “CNN This Morning” co-hosts while arguing male athletes make more money than women because “people are more interested in the men.”
Earlier this month, Variety published a bombshell report revealing scandalous allegations about Lemon. The allegations included claims he sent threatening text messages to a colleague from a burner phone and repeatedly exhibiting misogynistic and “diva-like” behavior. At the time, CNN defended Lemon and called the report “riddled with patently false anecdotes” and “based on unsourced, unsubstantiated, 15-year-old anonymous gossip.”