Too far? Don Lemon raised eyebrows on Monday, June 22, when he held up a sign with the N-word on it in the middle of a CNN broadcast.
The journalist, 49, incited a huge Twitter backlash when opening a segment on CNN Tonight and discussing the day's biggest stories.
Lemon first nodded to the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag in light of the tragic shooting at Charleston, S.C.'s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He picked up a Confederate flag and said, "This is what America is talking about right now. Does this offend you? It's a Confederate flag. Is it a symbol of Southern pride or a symbol of hate?"
"And then, what about this?" Lemon continued, reaching for a large black sign with the word "n—-r" in white ink. "Does this offend you? This word. President Obama said it out loud in an interview and a lot of people are shocked."
While some listeners were, indeed, shocked by President Obama's use of the word on Marc Maron's WTF podcast, many were just as surprised by Lemon's take on the story. As soon as the segment aired, viewers took to Twitter to comment on Lemon's choice to hold up the sign.
Marc Maron provides the thoughtful interview, Don Lemon provides the absurdist comedy. This is the world we live in.
— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) June 23, 2015
OK that's it. The black delegation officially requests to trade Don Lemon for pretty much anyone. pic.twitter.com/uz4r8jSvQl
— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) June 23, 2015
It’s clear that CNN has become more interested in the controversy Don Lemon garners than in his integrity as a news man.
— Amanda Seales (@amandaseales) June 23, 2015
what in blue buttery hell is don lemon doing pic.twitter.com/Y3LD36INjS
— Tracy LaFway Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) June 23, 2015
— Jaime Primak (@JaimePrimak) June 23, 2015
Thought we'd been punked by news "Don Lemon holds up sign saying N-Word" then remembered we've been punked by there even being a Don Lemon.
— James Morrison (@JamesPMorrison) June 23, 2015
For his part, Lemon has yet to respond to the backlash. Take a look at the controversial moment in the video above.