If you’ve missed Don Lemon on his morning show the past few days, don’t worry, his punishment is almost over.
The CNN anchor will return to air Wednesday after an uproar about comments he made disparaging Nikki Haley after she proposed that candidates over the age of 75 take competency tests.
Network chairman Chris Licht sent a short memo saying that he’s spoken with Lemon about the remarks. And that Lemon understands what he did wrong and what it will take for him to exhibit changed behavior through formal training.
“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation,” Licht wrote. “It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes.”
Last Tuesday, during a broadcast of CNN This Morning, Lemon said that Haley, a 51-year old republican and presidential hopeful, “isn’t in her prime, sorry.”
He added that “when a woman is considered to be in her prime is her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.
The show’s cohost Poppy Harlow snapped back at Lemon, saying, “Wait. Prime for what?”
“It depends. It’s just like prime if you look it up. If you Google, ‘when is a woman in her prime, it will say, 20s, 30s and 40s,’” Lemon responded.
Lemon’s comments sparked outrage on social media. And Haley herself responded 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.”
The longtime anchor apologized Friday to the network’s staffers in an editorial meeting. “I’m sorry that I said it,” Lemon said. “And I certainly see why people found it completely misguided. When I make a mistake, I own it. And I own this one as well.”
Don Lemon, Harlow and Kaitlan Collins were teamed to host CNN’s revamped morning show in November, retitled CNN This Morning from the previous New Day, marking the network’s lowest-rated morning show in a decade.
See how Twitter reacted to Lemon’s offensive remarks below.
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