Don Lemon Going Full Sexist On Live TV Wasn’t On My 2023 Bingo Card
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Don Lemon Going Full Sexist On Live TV Wasn’t On My 2023 Bingo Card

After insisting that South Carolina governor Nikki Haley "isn't in her prime," the CNN host will need to undergo sensitivity training

There's no worse Don Lemon than Smug and Certain Don Lemon. That version was on full display last week when the CNN host went after presidential candidate and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. Saying the candidate "isn't in her prime" (she's 51), Lemon kept blabbing about how women who aren't in their 20s, 30s or 40s have aged out. Yikes!

The on-air comments, which were pushed back on by incredulous co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, were made last Thursday and were still being damage-controlled by CNN this week, as the network announced Lemon would be back on the air Wednesday after being benched after the segment.

The only punishment aside from losing airtime appears to be that Lemon had to apologize and will have to go through "formal training," presumably to learn how to not be an sexist asshole who tells people to Google his sexist-ass remarks for confirmation that they are true and not just assy and sexist.

To unpack Lemon's comments in the first place is to enter into a whole minefield about what it even means for a woman to "be in her prime." It's hard to differentiate these views from those of asshat misogynists who believe a woman's worth is directly connected to her ability to bear children, and thus their value declines as inversely with age. Which, whoo boy, is awfully problematic.

This thinking is even more asinine when you consider how it'd apply in other contexts. Is Dolly Parton, who still wears high heels and kicks ass at the age of 77 "past her prime?" Is Angela Bassett, who can wring an Oscar nomination out of a Marvel movie, "past her prime" at 64? Halle Berry is 56 and nobody's telling her to stay home and off the scene because she's "past her prime." As far as men go, we're still letting Harrison Ford run around making Indiana Jones movies at the f**king age of 80.

Watching the video a few times, it feels like Don Lemon is talking s**t just to talk s**t, ya know? The host has been much more outspoken (sometimes drunkenly) as the years have gone by and some attribute his willingness to say what's on his mind to his being removed from primetime last year (which he insisted had nothing to do with his personal views).

Predictably, Haley seized on the remarks, firing back that she's making liberal "heads explode" and using Lemon's lapse to fundraise. She even put out a commemorative koozie that says, "Past my prime? Hold my beer." It's available with a $7 donation to her campaign.

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