Viewers are speculating Michelle Yeoh sent shade to CNN anchor Don Lemon during her Best Actress acceptance speech at the 2023 Oscars.
The actress won for her performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, making history as the first Asian actress to win the award. During her speech, she highlighted her win’s positive impact on the Asian community and other minorities.
She wrapped up her speech with an important message for women: “And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”
Viewers were keen to observe that Yeoh’s final statements may have been in response to Don Lemon’s sexist comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley. The CNN anchor called Haley “past her prime” at age 51.
Political commentator Stephanie Hamill shared her thoughts: “Was this a jab at @donlemon for his recent comments about women’ being past their prime’ after their 40’s?”
Was this a jab at @donlemon for his recent comments about women 'being past their prime' after their 40's ?
— Stephanie Hamill (@STEPHMHAMILL) March 13, 2023
I think Michelle Yeoh just called out Don Lemon during her #Oscars acceptance speech…
— Matt Wilstein (@mattwilstein) March 13, 2023
“Michelle Yeoh coming for Don Lemon was not on my #Oscar bingo card 😂,” joked Bernie Sanders press secretary Briahna Joy Gray.
Michelle Yeoh coming for Don Lemon was not on my #Oscar bingo card 😂
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) March 13, 2023
— Robert A George (@RobGeorge) March 13, 2023
Others didn’t believe Yeoh’s remarks intended to stir up controversy between her and Lemon. Many thought her speech came from the heart of a woman who worked hard to get her Oscar and just wanted to send a positive message.
No. I seriously doubt she was thinking of Don Lemon on one of the most important nights of her life. Hollywood is notorious for setting ridiculous expiration dates on women's careers. She's proof it's all nonsense.
Women from all walks of life regularly face age discrimination.
— it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life.. (@Anewluemerges) March 13, 2023
“No. I seriously doubt she was thinking of Don Lemon on one of the most important nights of her life,” wrote one Twitter user. “Hollywood is notorious for setting ridiculous expiration dates on women’s careers. She’s proof it’s all nonsense. Women from all walks of life regularly face age discrimination.”
Lemon found himself in the flames of backlash when he said in February on “CNN This Morning” that “a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”