Don Lemon’s misogynistic rant about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley so upset his CNN colleague Poppy Harlow that she reportedly stormed off the set as an already tense relationship between the former primetime diva and his morning show co-hosts boiled over.
On Thursday’s edition of “CNN This Morning” the veteran anchor took exception with Haley’s recent call for mandatory mental competence tests for politicians over 75 years old, sniping that the former South Carolina governor was “not in her prime” leading to a testy on-air exchange between Lemon, Harlow, and fellow co-host Kaitlan Collins.
New details have emerged about the alleged confrontation that set social media on fire with the New York Post reporting that Harlow was so upset by Lemon’s misogyny and confrontational manner that she left the set for a “well-timed” bathroom break, being followed to the restroom by Collins who has also clashed with him.
The 56-year-old Lemon, who lost his own primetime show as a part of the reshuffling at the network after new CEO Chris Licht took over, evidently hasn’t adapted well to his new gig with a source telling the New York Post that the relationship between him and Collins and Harlow has “been smoldering for months.”
According to the outlet, the latest high-profile meltdown resulted in Licht “squeezing out Lemon from the morning gig,” as the anchor’s ongoing antics aren’t going over well in the post-Jeff Zucker environment at the self-proclaimed “most trusted” name in news.
“Chris isn’t happy and he has spoken to Don a couple times today,” the network source told the Post. “Don knows it can’t happen again.”
On Thursday, during an informal meeting called “Coffee with Chris,” Licht was “peppered” with questions by staffers with one asking about Lemon’s ageist, sexist remarks about Haley, according to a “source with knowledge” cited by the New York Post.
“People say stupid things and that if it’s a trend then there’s recourse,” the source said, paraphrasing the network boss’s comments which could be a signal that Lemon is now dancing on thin ice.
After the confrontation went viral, Lemon was forced to apologize for his misogynist rant.
“The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it. A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day,” the embattled anchor wrote on Twitter.
The reference I made to a woman’s “prime” this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it. A woman’s age doesn't define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) February 16, 2023
Haley, who is 51 years old, shot back at Lemon on Twitter, pointing out that “Liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job. BTW it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist.”
Liberals can't stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job.
BTW it's always the liberals who are the most sexist. pic.twitter.com/PzpniQFLff
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 16, 2023
“This ongoing situation is frustrating,” a source with knowledge said, according to the Post. “His comments were misogynistic and sexist.”
Harlow did not offer comment to the Post but a source close to her quipped, “As a woman in her prime, Poppy Harlow does use the bathroom, including on Thursday mornings.”
The outlet previously reported that Lemon had “screamed” at Collins for interrupting him on-air in December, leaving the cast and crew “rattled” after the outburst.
Don Lemon ‘screamed’ at ‘CNN This Morning’ co-host Kaitlan Collins for interrupting him, sources https://t.co/L55otYHPzO
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) February 3, 2023
“Don screamed at Kaitlan, who was visibly upset and ran out of the studio,” a source told the New York Post. Lemon was reportedly told to take the next day off to “cool off.”
“At this point, Kaitlan wants to be on set with Don as little as possible,” a source with knowledge of the situation told the outlet. “It’s messy.”
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