Longtime CNN anchor Don Lemon has been fired from the cable network, he tweeted on Monday.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN,” the “CNN This Morning” co-anchor tweeted. “I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly.”
The network confirmed in a statement that they had “parted ways” with Lemon. “Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors,” the network said.
But in a follow-up statement, the network disputed Lemon’s account of the events, saying he was “offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”
Lemon’s firing came the same day that Fox News and Tucker Carlsonin a major shakeup for CNN’s rival network.
Lemon came under fire earlier this year afterabout women being in their “prime” during a segment about 51-year-old Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.
In response to Haley calling for mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75, Lemon said that “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry.”
“When a woman is considered to be in her prime — in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s,” he said.
“Prime for what?” his CNN co-host Poppy Harlow asked. “Are you talking about prime for like childbearing? Or prime for being president?”
Lemon said that a Google search would show that a woman is considered to be in her prime at the ages he mentioned.
His remarks were widely viewed as sexist and he later apologized, saying they were “inartful and irrelevant.”
“A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally,” he tweeted in February. “I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”
Earlier this month, Variety published a report about Lemon’s alleged hostility and misogynistic behavior toward his female colleagues. According to Variety, CNN allegedly launched an internal investigation in 2008 after threatening text messages were sent to his female co-anchor, but CNN told Variety that “CNN cannot corroborate the alleged events from 15 years ago.” CBS News has not corroborated the allegations.
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