(SNews) – CNN CEO Chris Licht has removed Don Lemon from his morning show until he’s completed “formal training” in response to the sexist comments the embattled host made on air.
Lemon did the impossible in uniting America against him with his anti-women rhetoric.
The former prime-time anchor has provoked a widespread backlash over his repeated aggressive and disrespectful behavior toward women.
This straw that broke the camel’s back was when Lemon declared on air last week that Nikki Haley isn’t “in her prime” because she’s 51.
CNN employees were furious and Lemon was said to be skating on thin ice at the network.
Licht did not fire Lemon but took him off the air for a few days.
He said Lemon will return after undergoing formal training.
“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation,” Licht said.
“He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn.
“We take this situation very seriously.
“It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes.
“To that end, Don will return to ‘CNN This Morning’ on Wednesday.”
According to CNN:
During CNN’s Friday editorial meeting, Licht, the network’s chief executive, said that he had heard from a number of people inside the organization about Lemon’s remarks.
Licht described Lemon’s comments as “unacceptable” and said they were “unfair to his co-hosts.”
Licht added that he believed it was necessary to foster a culture of accountability and felt it was important for Lemon to appear at the morning meeting, which took place virtually, so that he could apologize.
Lemon thanked Licht for the opportunity to directly address staffers and said that he wanted to be “really clear” about his regret for making the comments.
Lemon apologized to CNN staff earlier:
“I’m sorry I don’t mean to hurt anyone.
“I did not mean to offend anyone.
“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.”
“When I make a mistake.
“I own it and I own this one as well,” he said.
“I understand why you are upset and disappointed.
“I was trying to make the point that no one’s age should define their ambition or potential for success and I was saying those comments to Nikki Haley.”
Lemon also apologized to the public on Twitter:
“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.
“A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally.
“I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”