CNN confirmed Don Lemon would return to “CNN This Morning” starting Wednesday, following his absence after making disparaging comments about former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
The TV host sparked a controversial debate last week when he said Haley, also a Republican presidential candidate, wasn’t in her “prime” as a 51-year-old woman.
“Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s, and maybe 40s.” “That’s not according to me” “Look it up. if you Google ‘when is a woman in her prime,’ it’ll say 20s, 30s, and 40s,” he told his co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, who both looked stunned and offended.
The Wall Street Journal obtained a memo sent out to staff Monday evening from CNN Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Licht, which said he had a frank and meaningful conversation with Lemon, who will “participate in formal training.”
“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation,” Licht wrote in the memo. “He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously,”
Licht added that it is crucial that CNN balance accountability with a fostering culture “in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes.”
Lemon’s last appearance on the show was Thursday, when he discussed Haley’s presidential campaign announcement and her call for “mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
Lemon has apologized for the comments but not before being widely criticized. Licht also chastised the host during an editorial call last week, saying his remarks were “upsetting, unacceptable and unfair” and a “huge distraction,” USA Today reported.