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A “stunned” Don Lemon announced Monday morning that CNN fired him after 17 years and a sexism scandal.
The longtime anchor alleged in a note posted to social media that he found out from his agent that he had lost his job.
“After 17 years at CNN I would have thought someone in management would have the decency to tell me directly,” he wrote.
“At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear there are some larger issues at play.”
Lemon, 57, concluded his message by thanking the colleagues he’s worked with over the years for “an amazing” run and wished them all the best.
Shortly after news broke, CNN Communications released a statement via Twitter, claiming Lemon’s story was “inaccurate.”
“Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter,” the statement read.
The journalist, who anchored the morning broadcast Monday, appeared to have no idea about the fate of his job as he waved at the end of the show before releasing his statement.
CNN CEO Chris Licht, who also has been rumored to be on his way out, said in a note following the ouster that Lemon would “forever be part of the CNN family” and added that the network was “committed” to the success of “CNN This Morning.”
The “Don Lemon Tonight” anchor took a temporary leave from the network in February after he claimed on-air that presidential candidate Nikki Haley “isn’t in her prime” as a 51-year-old woman.
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“A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s,” he added.
When Poppy Harlow pressed Lemon on whether he was referencing “prime for childbearing” or “prime for being president,” Lemon doubled down on his sexist remark.
“If you Google, ‘when is a woman in her prime,’ it’ll say 20s, 30s, and 40s,” he said at the time. “I’m not saying I agree with that so I think she has to be careful about saying that [politicians aren’t in their prime].”
After Lemon was benched from the show, he issued an apology to Harlow and Kaitlan Collins during an internal call. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to hurt anyone,” Lemon said, according to a transcript obtained by The Post.
Ahead of his return to the anchor desk, Lemon delivered a public mea culpa.
“I appreciate the opportunity to be back on @CNNThisMorning today,” the journalist tweeted. “To my network, my colleagues and our incredible audience — I’m sorry.”
He added, “I’ve heard you, I’m learning from you, and I’m committed to doing better. See you soon.”
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