Don Lemon Benched on Monday Over Sexist Remark Scandal, Insiders Say
Don Lemon will not appear Monday on CNN This Morning as his future on the show continues to be discussed at the highest levels within the network, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Lemon, who was forced to make a groveling apology to CNN staffers on Friday after making offensive remarks about women and aging, had been scheduled to anchor This Morning alongside co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, according to a copy of the CNN anchor schedule obtained and reviewed by Confider.
But by Sunday afternoon a new on-air lineup schedule was sent out by CNN management that had the show being anchored by Harlow and Sara Sidner in New York with Collins in Poland, according to two people familiar with the matter.
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“There are ongoing conversations about Don’s future,” a person familiar with the matter told Confider. “He is a constant distraction.”
CNN CEO Chris Licht rebuked Lemon on Friday for the remarks about 51-year-old Nikki Haley being past her prime, saying they had left him “disappointed.”
Don Lemon Forced to Give Groveling Apology to CNN Staff
“His remarks were upsetting, unacceptable, and unfair to his co-hosts, and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization,” Licht told staffers on the 9 a.m. editorial call, according to a readout of the call obtained by Confider.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I did not mean to offend anyone,” Lemon said on the call.
The CNN anchor, who was in Miami with his husband over the weekend, did not appear Friday on This Morning as he had a scheduled day off.
CNN and Lemon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Lemon’s agent, Jay Sures, vice chairman of UTA, hung up on Confider when asked why Lemon would not appear Monday on This Morning. “I am now blocking your number,” he later texted Confider.
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