CNN's Don Lemon Criticized for Not Mentioning His Role in Jussie Smollett Incident

Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Don Lemon is facing backlash for failing to mention his ties to Jussie Smollett, the former Empire actor who is accused of lying to police over being a victim of a hate crime in January 2019.

While covering the actor’s trial Monday night on Don Lemon Tonight, the CNN host didn’t mention his alleged role in tipping off Smollett about being investigated by police.

Lemon discussed the trial with CNN reporter Omar Jimenez just hours after Smollett testified in his own defense that he received a text from Lemon, supposedly relaying information that the Chicago Police Department didn’t believe Smollett’s account of what happened.

“Please resign and salvage what you have left of your disgraceful career,” one person tweeted, adding that viewers are “tired of your lies and divisiveness.”

Smollett was arrested in February 2019 after Chicago police suspected that he orchestrated a hate crime in an effort to advance his career and secure more compensation for his role on Empire. The actor was then charged for allegedly falsifying a police report regarding his claim that he was brutally attacked by two masked Trump supporters who targeted him for being a Black, openly gay man.