Don Lemon ‘missing’ from CNN Morning show after apologizing to colleagues over ‘sexist’ remark about Nikki Haley
ATLANTA, GEORGIA: Don Lemon was not on CNN This Morning, the day after making comments regarding Nikki Haley's age that he later apologized for. The Emmy winner, 56, made headlines on Thursday, February 16, when he claimed that the former South Carolina governor is past her “prime” at age 51.
Don said this after Nikki suggested that politicians over 75 should have to undergo “mandatory mental competency tests.” When Friday’s episode of CNN This Morning began, Kaitlan Collins acknowledged Lemon’s absence by saying, “Don has the day off,” multiple reports noted.
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'Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry'
“This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s the wrong road to go down. She says people, you know, politicians or something are not in their prime,” Lemon said. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s,” reported the Independent.
'What are you talking about...'
Following the comment cohost asked Poppy Harlow asked him to clear himself by saying, "What are you talking about… wait, prime for what? Are you talking about prime for childbearing or are you talking about prime for president?”
Lemon continued to suggest that the former governor of South Carolina shouldn’t be critical about the ages of politicians running for office because she “wouldn’t be in her prime according to Google or whatever it is,” despite Harlow’s clear discomfort, the outlet mentioned.
'When is a woman in her prime? it’s 20s, 30s and 40s'
“Don’t shoot the messenger! I’m just saying what the facts are!” he said, before urging viewers to “Google it”. “Google it, everybody at home, when is a woman in her prime, it’s 20s, 30s and 40s,” he continued.
Harlow reportedly walked off set after the segment, in addition to expressing her displeasure with the statements during Thursday's program.
'BTW it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist'
Soon after Lemon’s comments went viral, Haley wrote on Twitter, “Liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job. BTW it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist.”
Later on Thursday, Lemon apologized for his remarks. “The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it,” he tweeted. “A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”
To be clear, I am NOT calling for competency tests for Sexist middle-aged CNN anchors; only for people who make our laws and are 75+. https://t.co/wvUNCcNdVt— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 16, 2023
Don Lemon jumped on a CNN staff call Friday morning as per TMZ despite having a day off. Don jumped on for only 90 seconds to address what he said about Nikki Haley and, for that matter, all women. He said he didn't mean what he said, adding he's going to continue to fight discrimination against women. He essentially said some of his best friends are women, citing his relationships with Dana Bash, Erin Burnett, Amy Entelis, and his mom and sister.
However, it seems to have backfired as he's been called "tone deaf" by his colleagues, the outlet reported citing sources. As per Daily Mail, "Don has been skating on thin ice for so long and many wanted him fired in December when he freaked out on Kaitlin Collins for no reason. She was in tears and it was so inappropriate."
It added citing sources, "Regardless of his political affiliation, his comments that Nikki Haley being past her prime were disgusting. Poppy was fuming, as she should be, and still is. He is rude, self-righteous, and clearly sexist. Nikki did the right thing by calling him out.