Don Lemon’s Alleged History Of Misogyny & ‘Diva-Like Behavior’ At CNN Exposed
It looks like Don Lemon’s skeletons have fully surfaced and are causing a bit of controversy.
In February, longtime CNN anchor Don Lemon made headlines when he alluded on-air that presidential candidate Nikki Haley was “past her prime.” Lemon claimed that,
“A woman is considered to be in their prime in their 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
The questionable comment resulted in the Emmy winner briefly getting benched from his gig as “CNN This Morning” co-host.
While this stirred up some controversy, the incident is seemingly only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Lemon’s rumored history of being misogynistic. According to a new report from Variety, Don Lemon has a long history of being problematic and sexist towards his co-workers at CNN.
The story, which features statements from over a dozen sources who currently or previously worked at CNN, alleges that Lemon had a history of disrespecting women at the cable news giant, including on-air talents like Soledad O’Brien, Nancy Grace, and Kyra Phillips.
One of the most shocking stories from the report dates back to 2008 when Lemon and Kyra Phillips co-hosted CNN’s “Live From” weekday show. According to Variety, Lemon harassed and sent threatening texts to Phillips. Reportedly, Lemon’s behavior toward Phillips worsened after his co-host was given the assignment to report in Iraq, which he desired. Sources claim that while Phillips was away, Lemon tore up pictures and notes inside her desk. When Phillips returned, Lemon allegedly sent her threatening text messages from an unknown number warning her,
“Now you’ve crossed the line, and you’re going to pay for it.”
CNN leadership later traced the anonymous number back to Lemon. As a result, Don Lemon was pulled from co-anchoring “Live From” and moved to weekends.
In 2008, another incident occurred, this time involving Soledad O’Brien. O’Brien landed the hosting job for CNN’s “Black in America” docuseries, and Lemon reportedly suggested that the anchor wasn’t Black. O’Brien told Variety,
“Don has long had a habit of saying idiotic and inaccurate things, so it sounds pretty on brand for him.”
Lemon’s behavior continued to get worse. Reportedly, the famed news anchor would miss editorial calls and show up late to work, which was described as “diva-like behavior.” Allegedly, Lemon also grew frustrated that Anderson Cooper and O’Brien got more airtime than he did during a 2009 Michael Jackson memorial.
A former CNN executive told sources,
“That led to a come-to-Jesus moment. Don was told, ‘Look, you’ve got to address your behavior. Your performance as a reporter is great. It’s your behavior that’s gotta improve. It’s what’s going to derail you if you’re not careful.’”
Insiders also shared with Variety that Lemon was frequently cruel to women he worked with, claiming he once called a producer fat and mocked Nancy Grace live on air. Grace declined to comment but a person close to her said that “she thinks he’s an *ss” and that he was always “rude, dismissive, and really unfamiliar with the [news] content being discussed.”
A source who witnessed the incident added,
“that was the beginning of when you knew that Don was kind of volatile and didn’t say good things about women.”
In addition to Lemon’s alleged misogynistic behavior towards his female coworkers, the report also claims that early in his career, he openly dated a younger staffer despite it being “frowned on” at the network. Lemon was 41, and the staffer was reportedly only 22 and fresh out of college.
A former senior executive said,
“As fast as you could make a rule, Don would bend it.”
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!
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