Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Brandon Drey.
Legacy media anchor Don Lemon won't appear on "CNN This Morning"
on Monday after saying that 51-year-old Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley wasn't "in her prime"
following her 2024 White House bid last week.
Lemon had initially appeared on the schedule to anchor the show with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. However, according to a copy of the CNN anchor schedule obtained and reviewed by Confider, officials at the network appear to have benched Lemon. Instead, they will have Sara Snider anchoring with Harlow in New York and Collins in Poland.
A source familiar with the matter told the news outlet that Lemon's future on the show is being discussed in "ongoing conversations."
"He is a constant distraction,"
the source told Confider.
A CNN spokesperson denied the reporting to Mediaite, saying Lemon was "taking the holiday"
due to paparazzi harassment - although they did not specifically deny he would be out on Monday.
"He is taking the holiday. He's been chased by paparazzi all weekend,"
the spokesperson said. "He's been under attack. He's not ready to go back on air."
During the CNN morning show on Thursday, Lemon said, "Nikki Haley isn't in her prime. Sorry, when a woman is in their prime [is] in [her] 20s and 30s and maybe 40s."
Lemon's co-host Poppy Harlow knew the comment would create a stir and asked him to clarify. "What are you talking - Wait ... prime for what?"
"That's not according to me,"
Lemon responded. "It depends. It's just like, prime. If you look it up,"
Lemon added. "If you Google when is a woman in her prime, it'll say 20s, 30s, 40s."
The CNN anchor later tweeted that his comments about Haley were "inartful and irrelevant."
"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,"
Lemon's tweet read. "A woman's age doesn't define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day."
Haley responded to the CNN anchor's tweet.
"To be clear, I am NOT calling for competency tests for Sexist middle-aged CNN anchors; only for people who make our laws and are 75+,"
In another tweet with a clip of the video segment, Haley said, "It's always the liberals who are the most sexist."
CNN CEO Chris Licht reportedly said during an editorial call on Friday morning that Lemon's comments about Haley "disappointed"
"His remarks were upsetting, unacceptable, and unfair to his co-hosts, and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization,"
Licht said to his staffers, according to a readout of the call obtained by Confider.
Lemon offered an apology on the same call.
Lemon said. I didn't mean to hurt anyone. I did not mean to offend anyone."
DailyMail.com reported last week that inside sources described Lemon as "rude, self-righteous and clearly sexist"
to the news outlet, adding that "his apology meant nothing."
"Don has been skating on thin ice for so long, and many wanted him fired in December when he freaked out on Kaitlin Collins for no reason,"
the sources said. "She was in tears, and it was so inappropriate."
Lemon reportedly left Collins "rattled"
on the set of "This Morning"
on December 8 after he allegedly blew up at her once the show was over because she had interrupted him on air.
Confider reported that Lemon's agent Jay Sures, also the Vice Chairman of United Talent Agency, hung up on the outlet when staff reached out to ask why Lemon would not be appearing on "This Morning"
"I am now blocking your number,"
Sures said in a follow-up text to the outlet, according to Confider.
The Daily Mail reported ratings for CNN's "This Morning"
had experienced record lows since its launch, with averages of just over 330,000 viewers.
Katie Jerkovich contributed to this report.