Shortly after the bombshell Fox announcement about Tucker Carlson, CNN anchor Don Lemon departed his network after 17 years with them. CNN appointed a new CEO about a year ago, and Chris Licht was quick to make changes at the media giant. “CNN This Morning” rebranded the network’s morning programming, and Lemon, Kaitlan Collins, and Poppy Harlow hosted it.
In recent months, allegations of behind-the-scenes disagreements between the popular hosts circulated online. Specifically, Lemon stated that 2024 GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley was “past her prime” on the program. The statement allegedly sparked disagreement between the hosts, with one walking off set mid program. CNN CEO Licht additionally ordered Lemon to attend classes on sexism following the incident.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) April 24, 2023
This morning, Lemon released a statement via his agent, in which he said he was “stunned” at his termination. He claims that he was not notified directly about his termination or given a reason. CNN rebutted Lemon’s claims, saying that he was given an opportunity to meet with management and declined. While an official reason is yet to be released, the internet is speculating that the “CNN This Morning” feud rumors are true.
CEO Licht issued a formal statement that insinuated that the termination was related to an incident on the morning show, without officially confirming that it was the reason for Lemon’s firing.
Don Lemon OUT at CNN. Here is the note from Chris Licht. pic.twitter.com/9zfcaXwQ5s
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) April 24, 2023
What Comes Next
The network has not announced further details on Lemon’s replacement. Lemon has additionally not spoken about his next career move, as he alleges the termination was sudden and without warning. Fans of the CNN host are hoping that he joins fellow CNN exile Chris Cuomo on NewsNation.
The network previously terminated Cuomo in 2021 for advising his brother on how to respond to the media during a sexual assault investigation. Cuomo’s brother, Andrew Cuomo, was serving as the Governor of New York at the time.
Wow. Don Lemon has been fired from CNN. Maybe he can join Chris Cuomo on News Nation. They were a good mush mash of personalities and perspectives. https://t.co/C0U7H5oHnS
— Feminist Wild 👄 (@FeminineWild) April 24, 2023
Additionally, several former guests on the several programs that Lemon posted throughout his long tenure with the program are supporting him at this time. None of Lemon’s current coworkers have publicly addressed his termination.
We haven’t always agreed on issues,
but I want to thank you for having me on your program.
This was my first-ever live television appearance in 2017. pic.twitter.com/DMDLOXxOck
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) April 24, 2023
Many viewers see CNN as a predominantly left-leaning network. CEO Licht previously expressed interest in catering to a more neutral base. The interest in neutrality resulted in more right-leaning guests being invited on the network’s programs. Lemon is known for his outspoken criticism of right-wing politicians, and internet sleuths are pointing to a recent interview that might be the final nail in the coffin.
2024 GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamay recently visited “CNN This Morning” claimed that Black people secured all of their rights immediately after the American Civil War. Ramaswamay additionally credited the NRA with providing Black Americans with civil rights, which is untrue. Lemon was quick to fact check Ramaswamay. He explained the role that the Civil Rights movement played in the fight for American equality.
according to the NYT this interview that Don Lemon conducted last week with Vivek Ramaswamy played a role in his firing. Note co-host Poppy Harlow sitting silently while Lemon goes after Vivek. pic.twitter.com/Fjx5eX30wU
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 24, 2023
While some argue that this presents a bias on Lemon’s part, others acknowledge that Lemon was fighting misinformation. This remains at the forefront of the media conversation right now.
I mean he's right
— Brandon D. Washington (@ghostzapperfan) April 24, 2023
Vivek gets my respect after that interview
— Zachary Kent (@realZacharyKent) April 24, 2023
Lemon is yet to confirm the reason behind his termination.