Don Lemon to miss CNN’s This Morning after controversial Nikki Haley remarks

Don Lemon will miss Monday’s episode of CNN’s This Morning amid controversy surrounding comments he made about Nikki Haley’s age.

Last week, during one of the network’s morning shows, the anchor criticised Haley, who had just announced her presidential campaign, over her suggestion that politicians over 75 should have to undergo “mandatory mental competency tests”.

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

The comments prompted pushback from Lemon’s co-host Poppy Harlow, who asked: “What are you talking about… wait, prime for what?”

Harlow then suggested that her co-anchor needed to clarify his meaning, asking: “Are you talking about prime for child bearing or are you talking about prime for president?”

A day after he made the controversial comments, Lemon was absent from This Morning.

In the most recent update, Lemon’s absence from the show continues as he requested to be off-air on Monday (20 February), according to Variety.

Amid backlash over the segment last week, Lemon said in a statement shared later in the day that he was regretful of his “inartful and irrelevant” comments, which some suggested were “misogynistic”.

“The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it,” he wrote on Twitter. “A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Following Lemon’s controversial comments, Haley responded to him on Twitter, where she referred to him as a “sexist middle-aged CNN anchor”.

“To be clear, I am NOT calling for competency tests for sexist middle-aged CNN anchors; only for people who make our laws and are 75-plus,” she tweeted.

The Independent has contacted Lemon and CNN for comment.