CNN’s Don Lemon ignores Michelle Yeoh’s apparent dig at him in Oscars 2023 speech

In an act of either self-preservation or complete unawareness, Don Lemon appeared to ignore Michelle Yeoh’s not-so-subtle dig at him in her Oscars acceptance speech.

On Monday (13 March) morning, during the CNN news anchor’s morning broadcast, he recognised Sunday’s (12 March) achievements as a “huge night for Asians and Asian Americans”.

However, Lemon failed to address what numerous viewers deemed to be an apparent critique aimed at him by the Oscar winner in her speech.

After her historic victory as the first Asian woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress in a leading role, Yeoh walked on stage to accept the award.

“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” the actor, 60, said.

“This is proof that dreams, dream big, and dreams do come true,” Yeoh added. “And ladies, don’t ever let anyone tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up!”

Michelle Yeoh and Don Lemon (Getty Images)
Michelle Yeoh and Don Lemon (Getty Images)

In February, Lemon came under fire for statements he made, claiming the Republican party’s presidential hopeful, Nikki Haley, was beyond her prime because she was past her twenties and thirties.

“This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s the wrong road to go down. She says people, you know, politicians or something are not in their prime,” Lemon said at the time.

“Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in their prime in her twenties and thirties and maybe forties.”

After pushback from his CNN This Morning co-host Poppy Harlow, Lemon said in a statement that he regretted his “inartful and irrelevant” comments, which many deemed “sexist” and “misogynistic”.

He later issued a second apology, saying: “To my network, my colleagues and our incredible audience – I’m sorry. I’ve heard you, I’m learning from you, and I’m committed to doing better. See you soon.”

Read all the talking points from the Oscars night here and the full winners list here.