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Don Lemon Says Elon Musk Does Not ‘Believe in Free Speech’ After Canceling His New Show on X

Don Lemon Says X Owner Elon Musk Does Not Believe In Free Speech After Canceling His New Show on X
Don Lemon, Elon Musk. Getty Images(2)

Don Lemon’s new partnership with X has been canceled following a “tense” interview he conducted with the owner of the social media platform, Elon Musk.

“We had a good conversation,” Lemon, 58, wrote in a Wednesday, March 13, statement. “Clearly he felt differently. His commitment to a global town square where all questions can be asked and all ideas can be shared seems not to include questions of him from people like me.”

The former CNN anchorman said that Musk, 52, informed him that his show was canceled a few hours after they completed their interview on Friday, March 8. Lemon said topics included the upcoming presidential election and Musk’s company SpaceX.

“Hardcore questions were asked,” he wrote via X of the conversation on Tuesday, March 12.

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A corporate account for X confirmed on Wednesday that Lemon’s deal with the company had been terminated.

“X is a platform that champions free speech, and we’re proud to provide an open environment for diverse voices and perspectives,” the post read. “The Don Lemon Show is welcome to publish its content on X, without censorship, as we believe in providing a platform for creators to scale their work and connect with new communities. However, like any enterprise, we reserve the right to make decisions about our business partnerships, and after careful consideration, X decided not to enter into a commercial partnership with the show.”

Musk also addressed the cancellation in a separate post.

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“His approach was basically just ‘CNN, but on social media,, which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying. And, instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just Jeff Zucker (former CNN President) talking through Don, so lacked authenticity,” Musk wrote. “All this said, Lemon/Zucker are of course welcome to build their viewership on this platform along with everyone else.”

Lemon was fired from CNN in April 2023 after 17 years with the network. No specific reason was given for his dismissal, which came after he was widely criticized for making sexist comments about then-GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley. Lemon apologized for the remarks at the time, saying, “When I make a mistake, I own it. And I own this one as well.”

Soon after, Musk publicly invited Lemon — via a post on X — to host a show on his platform.

Musk and Lemon announced a “content partnership” in January 2024, and Lemon praised X as “the biggest space for free speech in the world.”

In a video posted on Wednesday, Lemon said that in ending their partnership, Musk betrayed his public commitment to free speech.

“You canceled my contract after our interview,” he said. “I don’t think you believe in free speech.”

He also explained why he selected Musk as the first guest on his new show.

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“No brainer, Elon Musk, the man who calls himself a free speech absolutist. I asked him to do it. He willingly agreed to the interview,” Lemon said.

“Through our conversation, I kept reiterating to him that although it was tense at times, I thought it was good for people to see and hear our exchange and that they would learn from our conversation,” he continued. “Learn more about him, learn more about me. But apparently free speech absolutism doesn’t apply when it comes to questions about him from people like me,” the journalist said

Lemon added that his interview with Musk will air on YouTube Monday, March 28, as the first episode of The Don Lemon Show.

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