Don Lemon has been fired from his anchoring role at CNN, he announced Monday.
The news comes after Variety posted a story earlier this month about allegations that he mistreated his female colleagues over the course of his career there. And earlier this year, she faced backlash over widely criticized comments she made on air.
Lemon announced the news on Twitter, saying his agent informed him that he was going to be fired.
«I’m gobsmacked,» Lemon wrote. «After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought someone in management would have the decency to tell me directly.»
CNN CEO Chris Licht said the network and Lemon have «parted ways,» according to a memo posted on CNN’s official communications Twitter account.
«Don will always be a part of the CNN family and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years,» the statement said. «We wish him the best and we will encourage him in his future endeavors.»
Lemon has been with CNN since 2006joined the network after hosting on NBC Chicago and working as a correspondent for NBC News, the «TODAY» show and «NBC Nightly News.»
Lemon first came under fire in February during a segment on «CNN This Morning» in which he commented that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, 51, was no longer in her «prime.» The comment was made while discussing a suggestion by Haley that candidates over the age of 75 should take mental competency tests.
«Nikki Haley is not at her best, I’m sorry,» Lemon said. «When you consider that a woman is in her prime, in her 20s, 30s, and maybe her 40s.»
When pressed by co-host Poppy Harlow, Lemon told her not to «shoot the messenger».
Licht told the employees that Lemon agreed to participate in the training after public reaction to his comments. he also told her Traffic light earlier this month that both CNN and Lemon have «moved on» from the issue.
“Don Lemon is a lightning rod because he really rose to fame during a time when that was celebrated and encouraged in prime time,” Licht said.
but a variety report posted on April 5 alleged that Lemon has a long history of questionable behavior towards women.
The report was based on more than a dozen former and current colleagues, Variety said, who described Lemon as openly hostile to women online. Most of the sources spoke anonymously to the outlet. NBC News has not independently verified the allegations.
A Lemon spokesperson said in a statement to NBC News after the report that it was «surprising and disappointing that Variety was so reckless.»
«The story, which is riddled with patently false anecdotes and no concrete evidence, is based entirely on 15 years of anonymous gossip with no source or foundation,» the statement said.
In response to a request for comment from NBC News, CNN referred to statements it made to Variety that Lemon denied the allegations and that the network, with respect to a specific 2008 allegation, was unable to «corroborate the alleged events of past 15 years».
Lemon’s firing comes less than two years after former host Chris Cuomo was fired from the network. Cuomo, who hosted his own primetime show for CNN, was fired in December 2021 following an investigation by the attorney general into allegations of sexual misconduct against his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The investigation revealed the depth of Cuomo’s role in helping his brother combat the allegations. He had previously disclosed some conversations with his brother, but the attorney general’s report revealed a «higher level of involvement» than CNN was aware of, the network said at the time.
Cuomo filed a legal action against CNN seeking $125 million for wrongful termination last year, which is still pending.