News anchor Don Lemon will return to CNN tomorrow (Feb. 22) following sexist comments he made last week about women “being in their prime” according to their age. He has also been ordered to undergo training upon his return to air.
“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation,” CNN’s chief executive Chris Licht emailed employees, CNN Business reports. “He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously. It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with … fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes.”
Licht added, “To that end, Don will return to CNN This Morning on Wednesday.”
On Thursday (Feb 16.), the 56-year-old made unfavorable comments during his “CNN This Morning” segment as he discussed South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s candidacy.
In response to Haley’s speech including suggesting that politicians over the age of 75 undergo mental competency tests, Lemon commented that the 51-year-old politician, “isn’t in her prime.” He double-downed on his sentiments stating that women are “considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
Following the backlash from his commentary, Lemon apologized to his peers during the network’s daily editorial meeting on Friday (Feb. 17).
“When I make a mistake, I own it,” Lemon reportedly said. “And I own this one as well.”
Social media, CNN employees, as well as Haley, also weighed in on his remarks, deeming Lemon’s comments as “unacceptable” and “unfair to his co-hosts.” Not only was he ordered not to return for his regular scheduled segments, but was asked to apologize at a virtual morning editorial meeting.
Per the outlet, Lemon was regretful for what he said and added that, “I believe that women of any age… can do whatever they set their minds to.” He also mentioned that his closest colleagues are women.
“The people I am closest to in this organization are women,” he expressed. “The people I seek counsel from most in this organization are women.”
Check out Don Lemon’s controversial comments above.