Will Don Lemon be canceled? CNN host slammed as 'hypocrite' after 'Blackface mammy jar' spotted in his kitchen
The new year did not exactly start off as CNN's Don Lemon could have hoped as calls for him to be canceled grew on social media after people spotted what looked like a “blackface mammy jar” — a form of the ceramic jar with the design of a Black female's face — resting in the background of a segment he did from his kitchen on New Year's Eve.
The jar, which was popular in the Old South, was seen resting on a countertop behind Lemon. After the area of the screen was blown up by one eagle-eyed social media user who circled the object and reposted the screenshot, others took notice and started slamming Lemon over it.
"Oh, you mean that veggie in front of the black face cookie jar? That's a green bell pepper," one wrote, while another said, "Racy Kitsch art no?" A third commented, "I thought I was the only one that saw it." One more remarked, "Sooo a Mammy cookie Jar is NOT offensive, but a bottle of syrup is?" Another quipped, "The same people doing mental gymnastics to say this is normal are the same people who got Aunt Jemima erased."
The next wrote, "That's where he keeps his white sauce." A commenter tweeted, "Uh. CANCELLED!" One more reacted with, "Hypocrisy at it’s best! Don never fails to disappoint us." Another commented, "Cancel @donlemon and stuff. Thems the rules that they set, now we gotta live by them." A person said, "ANYONE else would be canceled over this."
Oh, you mean that veggie in front of the black face cookie jar? That's a green bell pepper. https://t.co/oQWwBzavUU— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) January 1, 2021
Racy Kitsch art no? https://t.co/bHDlxaw59O— 🌺🐚Cheyenne🐬🌺 (@DesertPoppy19) January 3, 2021
I thought I was the only one that saw it🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/c0Wz3w2z8a— Conversational Lush (@AlterMiGo) January 2, 2021
Sooo a Mammy cookie Jar is NOT offensive, but a bottle of syrup is?🤔🤦🏼♀️ https://t.co/kE6l5rmFsW— Mad MAGA Momma🇺🇸 (@MadMAGAMomma) January 2, 2021
The same people doing mental gymnastics to say this is normal are the same people who got Aunt Jemima erased https://t.co/U5m2f0ww7g— Olivia Rondeau (@rondeaulivia) January 1, 2021
That's where he keeps his white sauce— Dr. Bubba Ganoush HSG (@map575) January 2, 2021
Uh. CANCELLED!— Karen Barbara Brown (@kbbcubed) January 2, 2021
Hypocrisy at it’s best! Don never fails to disappoint us😂— The Dog House (@kd4mbj) January 1, 2021
Cancel @donlemon and stuff. Thems the rules that they set, now we gotta live by them 🤷🏼♀️— Nicole 🇺🇸 (@mamastitch75) January 1, 2021
ANYONE else would be canceled over this.— Recall Gavin Newson (@Can_2tha_dace) January 2, 2021
However, there were also those who spoke up in defense of Lemon. "It's a collectible, but I'm sure it can be misconstrued in today's climate," one of them wrote, while another said, "My mother actually buy the unpainted ceramic pieces and paints them. They are absolutely beautiful." One more commented, "Does this mean I can’t have brown Santa or angles in my house?" The next added, "Its just a cookie jar." One more wrote, "I got one and I’m white big deal."
It's a collectible, but I'm sure it can be misconstrued in today's climate.— Kathy_H (@SouthernKat60) January 3, 2021
My mother actually buy the unpainted ceramic pieces and paints them. They are absolutely beautiful.— Lisa G🇺🇸 (@Lisa_K_Gray) January 3, 2021
Does this mean I can’t have brown Santa or angles in my house?— Active Adrian (@ActiveAdrian) January 2, 2021
Its just a cookie jar.— KM Smith (@KMSmithWriter) January 1, 2021
I got one and I’m white big deal— Nico Harriman (@NicoHarriman) January 1, 2021
The New York Times’ Elisha Brown wrote in a 2019 piece: "The mammy stereotype portrays black women as obedient maids to white families. Like blackface, racist objects such as mammy jars perpetuate deep-rooted stereotypes about African-Americans by portraying them as docile, dumb and animated. But some white families view these objects as keepsakes, passed down through generations as relics of the past."
David Pilgrim, founder of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Michigan’s Ferris State University, told The Times: "They were everyday objects which portrayed black people as ugly, different and fun to laugh at. They were, in a word, propaganda."
Grace Coddington, a former creative director for Vogue magazine, was slammed last year for being photographed for an article in a French magazine with a collection of racist Mammy figurines in the backdrop. The photographer was forced to apologize and say, he was “ashamed and embarrassed” and “sorry for my mistake and the hurt it caused.”
Old yearbooks? Here are two NEW photos posted TODAY. Grace Coddington, current @Vogue contributor, who was creative director for years. She has a lucrative collaboration with @LouisVuitton and @IMG.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 8, 2019
On her kitchen shelf she has a collection of racist Mammy figurines
📸 @bferry pic.twitter.com/OfDpQOomiM
A number of prominent personalities have become targets of the cancel culture in the recent past like Democrat Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel after images of them having donned blackface emerged.