Don Lemon Absent From Show After ‘Prime’ Comment About Nikki Haley

[Screenshot CNN]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN’s Don Lemon was noticeably absent Friday just one day after he made a comment about women’s “prime” age during Thursday’s show.

Lemon was replaced in the Friday morning lineup by Audia Cornish, with co-host Kaitlan Collins opening the show by announcing to viewers that Lemon “has the day off.”

Lemon’s absence was made public Thursday, however, with the hosts noting toward the end of Thursday’s show that there would be a “special treat” on Friday.

“Audie is going to be joining us tomorrow, Don’s going to be off, Poppy is going to be on assignment anchoring from Salt Lake City.” (RELATED: ‘The Dumbest Man On Television’: Trump Mocks Don Lemon For Sinking CNN Ratings)

The debacle unfolded Thursday, when Lemon weighed in on the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley calling for mandatory mental acuity tests for elected officials over the age of 75 during her Wednesday speech launching her campaign.

Lemon commented on the proposal on Thursday, saying it made him “uncomfortable.”

“I think it’s the wrong road to go down,” Lemon said. “She says people, you know, politicians, are suddenly not in their prime. Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry, when a woman is considered to be in her prime [is] in [her] 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”

Lemon’s comment received pushback from co-host Poppy Harlow, who asked if he was referring to a woman’s childbearing years. Lemon claimed he was citing objective “facts” about the duration of a woman’s “prime” and urged audience members to look it up.

Haley herself responded to his comments, tweeting “it’s always the liberals who are most sexist.”

Lemon then issued an apology, saying his comments were “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.”