Struggling CNN anchor Don Lemon has once again found himself in hot water following a report by Variety that details “diva-like” and misogynistic behavior by the news anchor. CNN says that the claims are “patently false anecdotes.”
In 2008, Lemon was a co-anchor of “Live From,” a CNN show, alongside Kyra Phillips. Variety claims that on multiple occasions, Lemon went so far over the line that CNN had to take him off the air to stop him. Variety wrote:
“For months, tensions between the pair kept mounting. On more than one occasion, a “Live From” producer and a newsroom supervisor had to pull Lemon off the air during a commercial break because of the anchor’s provocative antics.”
Variety says this was not the end of Lemon’s troubles with that show. When Kyra Phillips was sent to Iraq, Lemon reportedly became jealous and threw a tantrum in the studio:
“While Phillips was on assignment in Iraq — a high-profile gig that Lemon coveted — he vented his disappointment at being passed over by tearing up pictures and notes on top of and inside Phillips’ desk in the news pod they shared, according to two sources who worked there at the time.”
“One night while dining with members of the news team, she received the first of two threatening text messages from an unknown number on her flip phone that warned, “Now you’ve crossed the line, and you’re going to pay for it.” Phillips was visibly rattled and quickly enlisted CNN’s higher ups to identify the sender.
“Remarkably, the texts were traced back to Lemon, according to those same sources. A human resources investigation was launched, and while the findings were never disclosed to the growing pool of staffers who were aware of the situation, Lemon was abruptly pulled from his co-anchor duties with Phillips and moved to the weekends.”
Don Lemon and CNN categorically deny these claims, as mentioned by Siegel in the article. A CNN spokesperson shared the following statement:
“Don says the alleged incident never occurred and that he was never notified of any investigation. CNN cannot corroborate the alleged events from 15 years ago.”
Siegel continued, noting that allegations of misogyny have also arisen during Don Lemon’s career. One such incident was detailed in the article as follows:
“More troubling was his misogynistic behavior, multiple sources say. Lemon called one of his producers fat to her face. Not long before he was identified as sending threatening texts to Phillips, he mocked Grace on air by mimicking her, shocking fellow colleagues. Grace declined comment but a person close to her tells Variety that “she thinks he’s an ass” and that he was always “rude, dismissive and really unfamiliar with the [news] content being discussed.'”
Somehow, through all of the turmoil and poor ratings, CNN has kept Lemon around and treated him as a cornerstone of the brand. According to Fox News, his show “CNN This Morning” managed only 360,000 total views last week. The show was blown out of the water by the 1.9 million viewers that “Fox and Friends” saw in the same period.
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