Don Lemon will return to CNN This Morning on Wednesday following the backlash over comments he made last week about when women were in their “prime.”
CNN Worldwide Chairman and CEO Chris Licht wrote in a memo to staff late Monday, “I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation. He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously.”
Licht added, “It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes. To that end, Don will return to CNN This Morning on Wednesday.”
Lemon has been absent from the show since Thursday when, in a conversation with his co-anchors Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins about the presidential candidacy Nikki Haley and her proposal that candidates over the age of 75 take competency tests.
Lemon said that “this talk about age makes me uncomfortable,” but then added, “Nikki Haley is not in her prime, sorry, when a woman is considered to be in her prime is her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
Harlow then stopped him.
“Wait,” Harlow said. “Prime for what?”
“It depends. It’s just like prime, if you look it up. If you Google, ‘when is a woman in her prime, it will say, ’20s, 30s and 40s.'”
Lemon issued a tweet later on Thursday expressing regret over the comments, and he apologized to staffers in an editorial call on Friday. “I’m sorry that I said it. And I certainly see why people found it completely misguided,” Lemon said.
Lemon was not on Friday’s show, as he had a pre-planned time off. But he was not on the show on Monday, with Sara Sidner filling in for him.
His comments drew condemnation from Haley and others on the right and the left. The New York Post featured Lemon on its front page on Friday, skipping over the other big media news of the day: The revelations of dozens of internal Fox News text messages in Dominion Voting Systems’ court filing in its defamation lawsuit against the network.
Lemon, Collins and Harlow debuted as the co-hosts of the revitalized CNN morning show in November.
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