Don Lemon, a host for CNN, has been accused of misogyny by a report from Variety. The report outlined multiple instances of alleged inappropriate behavior, including sending threatening text messages to a female colleague while she was on assignment and displaying “diva-like” and “provocative” antics.
Early Tensions with Kyra Phillips
In 2008, Lemon co-anchored the weekend CNN show “Live From” alongside Kyra Phillips. Tensions between the pair grew to a point where they had to be pulled off the air during a commercial break. While Phillips was on assignment in Iraq, Lemon vented his disappointment at being passed over for the assignment by tearing up pictures and notes on Phillips’ desk.
When she returned from Iraq, she received the first of two threatening text messages from an unknown number that warned her that she would “pay for it.” The texts were traced back to Lemon. A human resources investigation was launched, and Lemon was moved to weekend duties, which was understood to be disciplinary action.
Lemon was not paired with a female co-anchor again until 2022, when he was moved from primetime to “CNN This Morning” with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. The show has failed to attract viewers, and Lemon caused controversy after he made comments about former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley being past her “prime” at age 51. His apology during the network’s morning editorial call the following morning was widely criticized as inadequate.
According to a report from Variety, more than twelve former and current colleagues of Don Lemon, a CNN host, have come forward with accounts of his troubling behavior towards women and unprofessional conduct that dates back almost twenty years. The report suggests that Lemon has repeatedly used his charm to evade significant consequences for his actions.
On air, Lemon has also had disagreements with Kaitlan Collins and refused to cut to a commercial break while criticizing Rep. James Comer, R-Ky. While CNN has tried to discredit these allegations, Lemon has faced previous criticism, including apologizing for controversial comments he made on air, such as stating that white men were the “biggest terror threat” in the United States.