Don Lemon To Undergo ‘Formal Training’ After Uproar Over Women’s ‘Prime’ Comment, CNN CEO Says

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CNN)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN CEO Chris Licht said in a memo Monday night that Don Lemon would return to air Wednesday and undergo “formal training” after bipartisan backlash over comments he made about women.

Lemon has been off air since Friday, just one day after he said Haley was not in her “prime” age while commenting on Haley’s proposal of mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75.

“[Haley] 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.”

The comments drew condemnation, including from co-host Poppy Harlow, who pushed back, asking whether Lemon was referring to “childbearing.”

Lemon was absent from the show Friday, though his absence was announced on Thursday’s show. He was again absent on Monday.

Licht said in a memo sent late Monday night that Lemon “has agreed to participate in formal training” over his comments and the network took “this situation very seriously,” according to The New York Times (NYT). (RELATED: ‘The Dumbest Man On Television’: Trump Mocks Don Lemon For Sinking CNN Ratings)

“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation,” Licht reportedly wrote to his employees. “It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes.”

Licht had condemned Lemon’s remarks earlier, calling them “upsetting.”

Lemon also apologized for his remarks saying they were “inartful and irrelevant.”