Already have an account?
Get back to the

Don Lemon Missing From CNN Morning Show After Apologizing for Sexist Comment About Nikki Haley

Don Lemon Missing From CNN Morning Show After Apologizing for Sexist Comment About Nikki Haley
Don Lemon Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Don Lemon was absent from the Friday, February 17, episode of CNN This Morning after publicly apologizing for his comments about former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Related: CNN’s ‘New Year’s Eve Live’: Most Controversial Moments Through the Years

The Emmy winner, 56, made headlines on Thursday, February 16, when he claimed that the former South Carolina governor is past her “prime” at age 51. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry,” Lemon said while discussing Haley’s suggestion that politicians over age 75 should be subject to mental competency tests. “When a woman is considered to be in her prime — in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”

Lemon’s cohost Poppy Harlow asked him to clarify what he meant, saying, “I think we need to qualify. Are you talking about prime for childbearing or are you talking about prime for being president?”

Related: Most Shocking Talk Show Scandals: GMA's Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, More

The Louisiana native claimed that an internet search would confirm what he meant. “Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying what the facts are,” he told Harlow, 40. “Google it. … Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politicians are not in their prime, and they need to be in their prime when they serve. Because she wouldn’t be in her prime, according to Google or whatever it is.”

Don Lemon Missing From CNN Morning Show After Apologizing for Sexist Comment About Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley Nathan Posner/Shutterstock

When Audie Cornish joined the discussion later in the episode, she clarified that she thought “prime” referred to Haley’s fitness for electoral politics. “She’s in her prime for running for office,” Cornish, 43, said. “Political prime is what we’re talking about.”

Haley announced her candidacy for the 2024 presidential election on Tuesday, February 14. “You should know this about me. I don’t put up with bullies,” she said in a video shared via social media. “And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels. I’m Nikki Haley, and I’m running for president.”

Related: Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson, More Stars Who Shut Down Sexist Remarks

After Lemon’s comments went viral, Haley herself responded via Twitter, writing: “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.”

Later on Thursday, Lemon apologized for his remarks. “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,” he tweeted. “A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”

When Friday’s episode of CNN This Morning began, Kaitlan Collins acknowledged Lemon’s absence by saying, “Don has the day off.”

In this article

Got a Tip form close button
Got a tip for US?
We're All Ears for Celebrity Buzz!