Don Lemon Making Return to CNN After Making Sexist Comments Last Week: “When I Make a Mistake, I Own It”

Don Lemon is set to make his return to CNN on Wednesday. The famed anchor, who has been one of CNN’s prized personalities, hasn’t been on air since last Thursday, when he made a series of sexist remarks about women being in their prime. He apologized to his fellow CNN employees on Friday.

The comments were made during Thursday’s episode of Cnn This Morning. Lemon was co-anchoring the show with Poppy Harlow, 40, and Kaitlan Collins, 30. The trio were discussing Gov. Nikki Haley, 51, who declared her presidential run. She was calling for mental competency tests for anyone 75 years or older. 

Don Lemon Making Return to CNN After Making Sexist Comments Last Week: “When I Make a Mistake, I Own It” | Don Lemon is set to make his return to CNN on Wednesday after he made a series of sexist remarks about women being in their prime last week.
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In response, Don Lemon claimed that Haley, herself, isn’t in her prime and followed that statement up by saying women are only ‘considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.’ As you can imagine, Harlow and Collins – as well as millions of people at home – took exception to his comments. 

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Lemon tried to walk back his statement by declaring it’s not something he necessarily agrees with, but that’s what Google says – referring to women not being in their prime past their 40s. “Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just saying what the facts are – Google it,” he continued – making the situation worse.

He didn’t stop there, either. He doubled down on his statement nearly an hour later in another segment on the show – which would’ve been a perfect opportunity to apologize and condemn himself. Unfortunately, by then, his remarks had already been met with backlash and criticism from men and women nationwide.

On Friday, during his scheduled day off, Lemon was invited onto CNN’s daily editorial meeting where he was given an opportunity to address his comments with his colleagues. He admitted his wrongs and owned up to his mistake – adding he didn’t mean to hurt anyone and didn’t mean to offend anyone. 

“What I said came out wrong and I wish I hadn’t said it. I believe women of any age can do anything they set their minds to. The people I am closest to in this organization are women,” he said in his apology. He also admitted that he understands why everyone is upset and disappointed by his harsh remarks. 

CNN’s Chief Executive Speaks on Don Lemon

On Monday, CNN’s chief executive Chris Licht sent an email to his employees announcing the return of Don Lemon on Wednesday, adding that he had a ‘frank and meaningful conversation’ with the news anchor. While many want Lemon fired over his remarks, Licht believes in giving people second chances.

“It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with … fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes,” Licht explained in the memo. “He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously.”

Licht also called the comments ‘unacceptable’ and ‘unfair’ to Lemon’s two co-hosts and women around the world during the editorial meeting on Friday. Meanwhile, Lemon explained that many of the people he seeks counsel from inside the organization on a daily basis are women – whom he respects dearly.

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Don Lemon originally joined CNN in September 2006 as a correspondent and eventually worked his way up to a prime time host – he has hosted The Eleventh Hour, The Don Lemon Show, Don Lemon Tonight, CNN This Morning, and CNN Tonight, among others. Lemon will turn 57 years old on March 1st. 

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