Michelle Yeoh, the recipient of the Best Actress award at the Oscars on Sunday night, seemed to make a veiled remark at Don Lemon of CNN in her acceptance speech.
Despite this, the host chose to overlook the comment during his show on Monday. Yeoh, a 60-year-old Malaysian actress, made history as the first Asian actress and second woman of color to win the award, thanks to her pioneering role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”
During her emotional speech at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, Yeoh proudly held up her golden statuette and stated, “This is proof that dreams, dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re ever past your prime.”
The remark elicited boisterous cheers and applause from the crowd, indicating that it was likely aimed at Don Lemon’s recent controversial comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s age. The remarks caused a significant backlash last month, and despite two apologies, the seasoned CNN host was briefly taken off the air.
On Monday’s episode of CNN This Morning, Don Lemon, along with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, featured a segment on the Oscars, in which they talked about Michelle Yeoh’s groundbreaking victory.
“I thought it was particularly reaffirming especially for Asian Americans, American actors or just Asian Americans in the country,” Lemon said, before adding, “I thought it was a really important and reaffirming moment for Asian Americans and I hope that you know they feel it in this country and that everyone does.”
CNN played a portion of Yeoh’s speech, but not the part about women never being “past their prime.”
The hosts did not touch upon Yeoh’s comment during the segment, and soon after, Poppy Harlow abruptly tried to conclude the discussion, signaling to Kaitlan Collins with a glance. Don Lemon, seated between the two female presenters, remained expressionless as he stared straight ahead at the camera. However, many people on social media quickly took note of Yeoh’s pointed statement and shared their thoughts on the apparent dig.
“Nice sly dig at Don Lemon’s ‘past your prime’ line, #MichelleYeoh!!!” journalist Robert A Georg tweeted.
Another user remarked with glee: ““Lololol @donlemon just got his ass handed to him to by Michelle Yeoh. So deserved. Lol.”
A third quipped: “Has anyone checked on #DonLemon?”
Monday’s on-air exchange came just weeks after Lemon was yanked off the air after accusations of sexism and ageism.
During a February 16th broadcast, Lemon, who is 56, expressed discomfort with former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley’s critical comments about President Biden’s age, given that she herself is a woman over 50.
Lemon commented that he believed focusing on age was the wrong approach and cited the belief that women are considered to be in their prime in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.
When co-host Harlow, aged 40, challenged Lemon on his statement, he attempted to retract his words by suggesting they were not reflective of his personal beliefs, but rather based on the definition of “prime” found through a quick Google search.
Harlow became upset and left the set, and Lemon later apologized publicly for his comments. CNN CEO Chris Licht reprimanded Lemon and suspended him from “CNN This Morning” for three days. Lemon returned to the air on February 22nd after undergoing formal training and issuing a public apology on Twitter.
I guess Don Lemon has become the guy they all love to hate or throw digs at.
Good for Michelle Yeoh, I am glad she won, but the facts remain than for a woman in the movies, great roles become scarce as she ages , same as for a football player you are mostly done by age 35
It is life