Embattled CNN host Don Lemon was absent from his doomed morning show today amid outrage over his recent disrespectful comments about women.
Lemon was reportedly told to take the “day off” by executives as the scandal over his anti-women behavior continues to mount.
American women across the political divide have been angered after Lemon made some incredibly insensitive comments about the age that he believes women are “in their prime.”
And even CNN’s CEO Chris Licht heard them, according to The New York Post.
“Chris isn’t happy and he has spoken to Don a couple times today,” a network source told the paper.
“Don knows it can’t happen again.”
According to Fox News, women inside CNN are furious with the host.
“Everyone’s annoyed,” a CNN insider said.
“People are definitely upset about it.
“I was trying to figure out what the hell he was even talking about.
“None of it made sense, it was a stupid thing to say.”
Licht was “pissed” about Lemon’s “unforced error,” according to sources.
“Don has the day off,” co-host Kaitlan Collins said during today’s broadcast of “CNN This Morning.”
“Poppy, as you can see, is in Utah for the NBA All-Star Game, so we’ll get to that and much more in a moment,” she added.
Lemon’s co-host Poppy Harlow reportedly stormed off the set Thursday after his latest sexist remarks about women being “in their prime.”
During a conversation about the 2024 election, Lemon made disrespectful comments about presidential candidate Nikky Haley and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Lemon, one of the three anchors of “CNN This Morning,” made remarks about women being “in their prime” during a segment about Haley when he commented on the age of some of her political rivals.
“She says people, you know, politicians or something are not in their prime,” Lemon said on the program.
“Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry.
“A woman is considered to be in their prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
The comment spurred co-anchor Poppy Harlow to try to get Lemon to modify his stance.
“What are you talking about, wait — prime for what?” she asked.
The move resulted in Lemon digging himself into an even deeper hole.
“If you Google ‘when is a woman in her prime,’ it’ll say; 20s, 30s, and 40s,” he replied.
Haley is 51 while Biden is 80, Kamala Harris is 58, and Hillary Clinton is in her later 70s.
Don Lemon: "Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry, when a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s, and 30s, and maybe 40s…"
Poppy Harlow: "Are you talking about prime for like child bearing?"
"Don’t shoot the messenger! I’m just saying what the facts are! Google it!" pic.twitter.com/n1HmtkWTpl
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 16, 2023
But it wasn’t just CNN women furious with Lemon.
MSNBC reporter Ali Vitali said:
“With the start of each new presidential cycle comes the chance for reporters to do better, less sexist, more fair coverage of all candidates.
“This is a clear example of how not to do that. But we all have the next year to get it right next time.”
“Isn’t 51 actually quite young by presidential standards??” the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey said.
“Trump and Biden were both over 70 when elected.”
Nikki Haley also responded to the comments, saying: “Liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job.
“BTW it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist.
“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+.”
Liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job.
BTW it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist. pic.twitter.com/PzpniQFLff
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 16, 2023
Lemon issued a weak apology that failed to smooth over the backlash:
“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.
According to Fox News, Lemon’s day off was planned in advance.
Fox News Digital learned Lemon will be absent on Friday’s show, but it was actually planned even before he sparked the viral backlash as he was set for an extended weekend vacation.
At the end of Thursday’s broadcast, Lemon preemptively wished his viewers to “have a great weekend.” Lemon is expected to return to the airwaves Monday.
READ MORE: CNN CEO Puts Don Lemon on Notice after Latest Comments about Women: ‘If It’s a Trend Then There’s Recourse’