Don Lemon faces backlash after sexist comment about Nikki Haley

CNN host Don Lemon is facing backlash on social media after making sexist remarks while discussing Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

While speaking with two female co-hosts, Lemon discussed why he believed Haley was no longer “in her prime” in response to calls from the presidential candidate for competency tests for older politicians like President Joe Biden.

“Nikki Haley is not in her prime,” Lemon said. “Sorry if a woman in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s is considered to be in her prime…”

Lemon was quickly interrupted by CNN anchor Poppy Harlow, who questioned what exactly he was trying to say.

Lemon went on to defend his statement by suggesting it be read on Google while urging others to “look it up.”

“Don’t shoot the messenger!” Lemon said in response to the criticism. “I’m just saying what the facts are! Google it!”

The short clip quickly went online, where users expressed their disgust at Lemon’s comments.

CNN political commentator Patti Solis Doyle, for example, expressed dismay at her colleague in comments on Twitter.

“Don Lemon is full of crap in here,” she wrote.

Briahna Joy Gray, the former national press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, argued that Lemon’s comments were “out of whack.”

Haley herself eventually responded to the comments, accusing the Liberals of being the most sexist group in politics.

“Liberals can’t stand the idea of ​​running competency tests on senior politicians to make sure they can get the job done,” she wrote. “By the way, it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist.”

Popular conservative figures also commented on the matter, suggesting that Lemon’s views were only there to help Haley.

“That only helps Haley,” said former NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch. “Besides, if I were to judge a woman’s prime, the last person on earth I would ask would be Don Lemon.”

Others accused CNN of hypocrisy, claiming that a conservative moderator would have faced immediate consequences for such statements. It remains unclear what action CNN will take.

Lemon has yet to respond to the criticism on his Twitter account, which was last tweeted on Wednesday.


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*Initial publication: February 16, 2023 12:19 pm CST

Michael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is a Seattle-based tech and security reporter covering social media, data breaches, hackers and more.

Michael Thalen Don Lemon faces backlash after sexist comment about Nikki Haley

Jaclyn Diaz

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