“The View” co-hosts admitted Tuesday that former CNN anchor Don Lemon said some “sexist” and “ageist” things on-air while at CNN.
The co-hosts defended Lemon after the network suddenly fired him Monday, though they added that the former anchor did make “sexist” and “ageist” remarks.
“I know that I’m biased here because Don is my friend,” co-host Sunny Hostin said. “And he has been my friend for 20 years. Our offices were directly across from each other for most of that time that I worked there, and I will say that I don’t believe, in my experience with him, that he’s a misogynist. I think he loves women. He loves his mother, he loved his sister, he loves me, he loves Joy [Behar] … Just to put a button on it, Don, yes, said some things that were sexist and I think ageist. He apologized for them and received formal training.”
Co-host Joy Behar claimed Lemon had been on-air “fighting bigotry,” but said she does not know what he does with his coworkers behind closed doors. Co-host Sara Haines agreed that Lemon has had “some missteps” on-air, but his ousting was expected after CNN President Chris Licht took over. (RELATED: ‘Still In My Prime’: Nikki Haley Mocks Don Lemon’s Termination)
Co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin said Lemon could “have a big future” at another network. Co-host Whoopi Goldberg said it seemed strange to have Lemon co-host “CNN This Morning” with two women, Poppy Harlow and former Daily Caller reporter Kaitlan Collins, if there are concerns about him being a misogynist.
“If you’re concerned that somebody is a misogynist, why would you put them with two women to do a show? If you feel that way, if you feel that concern,” Goldberg said. “So, it seemed odd when they gave him that show … this seems a little strange, but I’ve known Don forever.”
Lemon came under scrutiny for saying Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is past her “prime” due to being a 51-year- old woman during a February 16 episode of “CNN This Morning.” Lemon apologized for the remark and underwent “formal training” before to his return to the network.
Variety later published a report alleging that Lemon threatened a former co-worker via text message after being envious of her assignment to Iraq, called another female coworker “fat” and dated a staffer twenty years his junior.
Lemon accused CNN of firing him without any notice in a statement posted to Twitter Monday, though CNN pushed back and said he was informed and given the chance to meet with management.