CNN fired longtime television personality Don Lemon on Monday following multiple scandals and controversial on-air comments, bringing an end to his 17-year tenure as one of the network’s most well-known—and outspoken—personalities.
Don Lemon announced his departure from CNN on Twitter, saying he was “stunned” by the decision and blasting CNN management for not having the “decency to tell me directly” (CNN later tweeted Lemon had been offered a chance to meet with management and that his statements were “inaccurate”).
CNN has had viewership issues in recent years, including on Lemon’s conversational morning talk show, which was the network’s lowest-rated morning show in nearly a decade in February. According to The Wrap, the show’s viewership increased by 18.2% after Lemon returned after a brief hiatus in February due to comments about Haley. CNN’s viewership had dropped 61% since March of last year, when viewership peaked following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It is also important to note that Don Lemon’s termination follows some major controversy.
In February, Don Lemon faced widespread backlash after remarking that Nikki Haley was past her “prime” as a woman in her 50s.
Then, a Variety report published earlier this month further blasted Lemon, as it aired allegations of him exhibiting misogyny and “diva-like behavior” throughout the years.
In fact, one person who contributed to the report alleged that it eventually became evident that “Don was kind of volatile and didn’t say good things about women.”
GOP leaders have celebrated Lemon’s termination at CNN, including former President Donald Trump—an outspoken critic of the network—who called Lemon “the dumbest man on television,” and asked on Truth Social: “WHAT TOOK THEM SO LONG?” Congressional Republicans have also taken the moment to slam Lemon, including Rep. Lauren Boebert who said Lemon “was actually the one past his prime.”