Don Lemon Resurfaces After Sensitivity Training Over Nikki Haley Comments

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CNN anchor Don Lemon returned to air Wednesday following formal training he received after making sexist remarks about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s age.

Lemon was removed from the network’s programming after a “CNN This Morning” discussion on the ages of politicians. Haley spurred the discussion after she called for mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75.

He told co-host Poppy Harlow that Haley was “not in her prime” as a 51-year-old woman. Women, he said, were considered in their prime “in her 20s, 30s, and maybe 40s”. That age range typically refers to a woman’s peak reproductive years.

When Harlow took offense to his remarks, he replied, “Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying, Google what the facts are.”

CNN Business reported that network CEO Chris Licht issued a Monday night memo to employees detailing the conditions for Lemon’s return.

“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation,” Licht wrote in an email. “He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously.”

According to The New York Times, Licht went off on Lemon during a call on Friday. He lambasted the host’s comments as “upsetting, unacceptable, and unfair” as well as a “huge distraction”.

Lemon apologized after his remarks were widely condemned.

“When I make a mistake, I own it,” Lemon said. “And I own this one as well.”

Haley took advantage of the attention on his comments toward her to fundraise for her presidential campaign, tweeting a link to her campaign donation site where donors could get a free koozie featuring the phrase, “Past my prime? Hold my beer”.

Haley markets herself as a “new generation” Republican candidate in contrast to former President Donald Trump, the only other high-profile Republican to announce a run thus far.

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