After CNN morning host Don Lemon was pulled off the air for several days after suggesting that Republican Nikki Haley was past her prime, a CNN insider told the British tabloid the Daily Mail that some female staffers were threatening to quit if the network doesn’t fire him.
Lemon, who took several days off after last week’s imbroglio, was permitted to return to work on Wednesday, according to CNN President Chris Licht.
On Monday, Licht sent a memo to staff saying he and Lemon had a “frank and meaningful conversation” in which the morning host agreed to undergo “formal training,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Licht said in the memo that CNN takes the situation “very seriously,” but said he wanted CNN to be the kind of company that balances “accountability” with giving staff the chance to “own, learn, and grow from their mistakes.” As such, Licht said, Lemon would return to work on Wednesday.
But according to the Daily Mail’s insider, the women of CNN “are not going to let this go.” The insider said the female staff of the cable network took Lemon’s remark “as a personal insult,” adding that, rather than a few days off, Lemon’s vacation should’ve been “permanent.”
The CNN insider told the UK tabloid that nobody at CNN believes Don Lemon should remain with the network.
CNN reported that Lemon apologized to his colleagues during a Friday editorial meeting last week, explaining that he could understand why people found his comments “completely misguided.”
But according to the CNN insider, Lemon’s apology “meant nothing.”
On Wednesday, TMZ reported that while Licht permitted Lemon to return to work, the morning host’s future at CNN is uncertain. According to CNN sources, upon his return, Lemon received a “final warning” that if he continues to create a toxic work environment or insults his co-hosts, he will be fired.