Don Lemon Takes Day Off CNN After Apologizing for Woman ‘In Her Prime’ Comment

Don Lemon on CNN This Morning (Credit: CNN)

Don Lemon was absent from CNN This Morning on Friday, after courting controversy by saying former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was past “her prime.”

Lemon made the comment on Thursday’s episode while discussing Haley’s presidential campaign kickoff event a day earlier, where the Republican White House hopeful called for “mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”

Haley, 51, was likely referring to President Joe Biden, who is 80, and former President Donald Trump, who is 76.

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While discussing Haley’s speech with his two female co-hosts, Lemon, 56, critized the presidential contender for her comments about age.

“She says people, politicians are not in their prime,” Lemon told his co-hosts. “Nikki Haley is not in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”

Lemon added that if you look it up on Google, a woman is considered in her prime between those ages.

His comment sparked debate on social media, with some conservatives calling for his firing from the ratings-challenged CNN morning show. Although there was little blowback over Haley’s initial comment.

Lemon apologized a few hours later.

“The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it,” he wrote on Twitter. “A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”

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On Friday’s episode of CNN This Morning, one of the hosts said, “Don has the day off,” at the start of the show.

The Daily Beast reported Lemon was “forced” to apologize to his colleagues on CNN’s Friday morning editorial call.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I did not mean to offend anyone,” the outlet quoting him as saying. “What I said came out wrong and I wish I hadn’t said it. I believe women of any age can do anything they set their minds to. The people I am closest to in this organization are women.”

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