Don Lemon took to Twitter Monday to say he was “terminated by CNN” after 17 years of working at the network.
Lemon, who hosts “CNN This Morning,” said he was “stunned” to hear the news from his agent.
“I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly,” Lemon said. “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 this network.”
“It is clear that there are some larger issues at play,” he added.
CNN made a statement clarifying the events leading to Lemon’s departure.
“Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate,” CNN Communications tweeted. “He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”
The network initially said that it had “parted ways” with Lemon on Monday morning.
“Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors,” the network said.
Although Lemon had been one of CNN’s most prominent anchors, he faced criticism after making remarks about women and aging in February.
He said on-air that presidential candidate Nikki Haley “isn’t in her prime, sorry. When a woman is considered to be in her prime — in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s,” according to The Hill. He was pulled off the air for two days at the time. As a resolution, CNN chairman Chris Licht said Lemon had agreed to participate in “formal training” over his on-air comments.
On April 5, Variety published a report that alleged that Lemon had a history of being misogynistic toward women co-workers at the network.
Lemon responded to the report, saying, “The story, which is riddled with patently false anecdotes and no concrete evidence, is entirely based on unsourced, unsubstantiated, 15-year-old anonymous gossip. It’s amazing and disappointing that Variety would be so reckless.”
More recently, the network’s bookers had a hard time getting some guests to appear alongside Lemon on-air, per The New York Times.
The news of his departure from the network comes shortly after Fox News and Tucker Carlson announced their split earlier on Monday, as the Deseret News reported.
“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” Fox said in a statement about Carlson.
Brian Stelter, formerly a host at CNN, said in a tweet that his sources say the timing of the two announcements was a “complete and crazy coincidence.”