Celebrated CNN host Don Lemon says he has been fired by CNN.
“I am stunned,” Lemon said in a message posted on Twitter on Monday, saying his agent had informed him of his firing by CNN president Chris Licht, who Lemon has had a testy relationship with.
“After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear there are some larger issues at play. With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run. They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best.”
Licht said in a memo to CNN workers that “CNN and Don have parted ways.”
“Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years,” Licht said in a statement. “We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors.”
After stints in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, The Today Show and NBC Nightly News, Lemon joined CNN in September 2006. Lemon quickly became outspoken in his work at CNN. He also voiced strong opinions on ways that the African American community can improve their lives, which caused some controversy.
In 2014, CNN launched Lemon’s, The Eleventh Hour and The Don Lemon Show. After a realignment of CNN’s schedule Lemon would host of the hour as CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.
Licht moved Lemon from his popular slot to a new morning show in November, paired with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins. The ratings have been in the basement since the launch causing the network to fire the EP.
In February, Lemon drew criticism when in a conversation about presidential candidate Nikki Haley, he called her too old and past her prime. He took several days off the show before apologizing and agreeing to participate in formal training.
In a lengthy report published by Variety, Lemon was accused of misogyny, continually making offensive comments about women on air in the past. The report claimed his behavior toward female colleagues at the network was inappropriate.
CNN said that CNN This Morning, co-hosted by Harlow and Collins, will continue.