Don Lemon was absent on Friday from CNN This Morning, a day after the CNN anchor faced backlash for saying presidential candidate Nikki Haley is not “in her prime.”
“Don has the day off,” co-host Kaitlan Collins said at the top of the broadcast. Lemon on Thursday came under fire for claiming that Haley, who announced her presidential campaign this week, is too old, saying that “a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
“I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it,” Lemon added.
Lemon’s comments are putting pressure on Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year and CNN CEO Chris Licht to fire Lemon, the New York Post reported.
Licht said there will be “recourse” if Lemon keeps saying “stupid things” on air, a source told the Post. The source added that “Chris isn’t happy” and “Don knows it can’t happen again.”
Lemon’s “remarks were upsetting, unacceptable and unfair to his co-hosts, and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization,” Licht told his staff during an internal call, according to the New York Times.
Haley on Thursday responded to Lemon’s comment, tweeting that “it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist.”
Lemon tweeted his “regret” Thursday afternoon.
“The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant,” Lemon wrote.
He added that “a woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally.”
The comments are not the first blow-up on the months-old morning show. Lemon, who was allegedly upset over interruptions from Collins, screamed at his co-host off-air in December, leaving Collins “visibly upset,” a source told the Post. A week prior Lemon got into a spat with his co-hosts over compensation differences between men’s and women’s soccer teams.
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