Don Lemon will not appear on Monday’s “CNN This Morning” amid ongoing backlash to remarks he made regarding South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Lemon stirred controversy on Thursday when discussing Haley’s recently announced presidential candidacy and remarks she made calling for mental competency tests for presidential candidates over 75.
Lemon addressed the remarks to his co-anchors — Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins — and quipped that Haley, 51, “isn’t in her prime” herself. When pressed on the comment by his fellow anchors, Lemon doubled down, arguing, “If you Google ‘when is a woman in her prime,’ it’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s.”
On Friday, Lemon was given the opportunity to address CNN staffers and apologized for his comments.
“I’m sorry that I said it. And I certainly see why people found it completely misguided,” Lemon said, CNN reports. “When I make a mistake, I own it. And I own this one as well.”
Lemon stressed “I believe that women of any age… can do whatever they set their minds to.” adding, “The people I am closest to in this organization are women… The people I seek counsel from most in this organization are women.”
Lemon also apologized publicly on Twitter, writing, “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. A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”
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. A woman’s age doesn't define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) February 16, 2023
Monday’s “CNN This Morning” will be hosted by Harlow, as well as Sara Sidner, who will be sitting in for Lemon, Variety reports. Collins will be reporting from assignment in Poland.
It’s unclear whether Lemon will return to the show on Tuesday, or what his future with CNN will be in the weeks to come.
MORE FROM ET: