CNN's Don Lemon during a televised townhall with Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on CNN dedicated to LGBTQ issues in Los Angeles, California


  • Don Lemon was fired by CNN after 17 years in the wake of his sexism scandal
  • Lemon claimed he was not "directly" told of his termination
  • CNN Communications released a statement saying that Lemon's story was "inaccurate"

Don Lemon expressed disbelief over his firing from CNN, claiming that he was not "directly" informed about it. But the network has hit back at the journalist's claims.

On Monday, the 57-year-old veteran broadcaster announced his termination via Twitter, writing, "I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated from CNN. I am stunned."

"After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network," he added.

Lemon suggested that there were "some larger issues at play" in his firing, before proceeding to thank his colleagues and his team who had worked with him over the years for an "incredible" run and wished them all the best.

But shortly after the journalist's tweet, CNN Communications released a statement via Twitter calling Lemon's claims "inaccurate."

"Don Lemon's statement about this morning's events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter," the statement read.

An unnamed source familiar with the situation told Entertainment Tonight that CNN's management had offered to meet with Lemon after his agent was informed about the termination. Lemon's agent told the journalist about the offer, but he reportedly "didn't see the need" to meet with them at that point, according to the source.

The former "CNN This Morning" anchor's termination came after he took a temporary leave from the network in February in the wake of an on-air sexist remark he made about 2024 GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley. At the time, Lemon claimed that Haley "isn't in her prime" as a 51-year-old woman.

Lemon later apologized for his comments. "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. A woman's age doesn't define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day," he wrote on Twitter at the time.

Lemon was also the subject of a Variety exposé, in which some of his co-workers claimed that he exhibited "troubling treatment of women and unprofessional antics" for nearly two decades. Lemon claimed that the story was "patently false and had no concrete evidence."

Speaking on the broadcaster's departure, another unnamed source told ET that the firing "came as a total surprise" to the staff, who "found out in real-time when the news broke in the media." A meeting will reportedly be held to further discuss Lemon's ousting.

A third anonymous insider told the outlet that "everyone is shook" by the news.

Lemon joined CNN in 2006 and became one of the best lead anchors and presenters of the broadcasting giant. He previously hosted his own show, "Don Lemon Tonight," before being assigned as the co-host of "CNN This Morning," along with Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow.

Don Lemon
Don Lemon attends the 11th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at American Museum of Natural History on Dec. 17, 2017, in New York City. Mark Sagliocco/WireImage