It was a morning like any other on CNN, with the anchors getting ready to start the day’s news cycle. But then, the host Don Lemon made a comment that would send shockwaves through the studio and beyond.
His words were directed towards women over the age of 50, whom he suggested were past their “prime.” It was a statement that didn’t sit well with his female co-hosts, who immediately pushed back against Lemon’s derogatory remark.
As the broadcast continued, it became clear that Lemon’s words had not gone unnoticed by viewers across the country. Social media was ablaze with comments, with many expressing their outrage and disgust at the host’s sexist and ageist comments.
But Lemon’s transgression did not go unpunished. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who had already announced her candidacy earlier that week, publicly criticized Lemon, stating that “liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job.”
Haley’s words struck a chord with many, and Lemon’s comments were widely mocked and ridiculed on social media throughout the day. It was a stark reminder that in today’s world, words have consequences, and even the most powerful and influential among us must be held accountable for their actions.
Haley, who recently declared her candidacy for the presidency, shared a video clip of the host’s remarks and stated that “liberals are unwilling to implement competence tests for senior politicians to ensure their ability to perform the job.”
Haley also stated, “By the way, it’s typically liberals who are the most sexist,” and sent out a fundraising email condemning Lemon’s actions.
Haley, 51, has called for competency tests for politicians over 75 years old as part of her campaign launch.
“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 on CNN’s morning program Thursday.
“Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
Lemon’s comments, which sparked instant push back from his female co-hosts, were widely mocked on Thursday morning across social media.