Texts Reveal Don Lemon’s Long-Standing Hatred Toward ‘Fat’ And Old Women

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CNN sentenced Don Lemon to anti-woman training last month for berating his female co-hosts behind the scenes and declaring women over 40 “past their primes.”

Perhaps in rehab Lemon addressed those issues as well as his long-standing gynophobia.

A Variety report on Wednesday profiled Lemon’s history with female co-workers, finding he sent malicious texts to women with whom he had to share the spotlight.

Don Lemon’s Mean Girl persona first emerged in 2008, when he co-anchored a weekday show on CNN called “Live From” with Kyra Phillips. This was Lemon’s first featured gig at the company, coming from local news two years prior.

Drama emerged when CNN sent Phillips on assignment in Iraq, a gig Lemon coveted.

The decision to elevate Phillips turned Lemon unhinged. According to the report, he tore up pictures and notes on top of and inside Phillips’ desk in the news pod they shared.

After, Phillips received eerie text messages from an unknown number upon her return to the U.S. One text read, “Now you’ve crossed the line, and you’re going to pay for it.”

A rattled Phillips enlisted CNN’s higher-ups to identify the sender. That the network did, uncovering that messages traced back to Don Lemon.

“A human resources investigation was launched, and while the findings were never disclosed to the growing pool of staffers who were aware of the situation, Lemon was abruptly pulled from his co-anchor duties with Phillips and moved to the weekends. It was a demotion by any objective measure and understood to be some kind of disciplinary action,” reports Variety.

Around the same time, Lemon mocked then-colleague Nancy Grace on air, by mimicking her.

He then called a female producer “fat” to her face.

Yet instead of firing Lemon for his worrying behavior, CNN merely kept him away from female co-anchors for the next decade.

He did not appear alongside a woman again until the fall of 2022, when new CEO Chris Licht demoted Lemon from primetime to a new morning program with two female co-hosts: Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.

Collins and Harlow have experienced a similarly deranged figure in Lemon. In December, Lemon pulled Collins to the side to berate her for talking more than he liked during a segment they shared.

A month later, Lemon declared Nikki Haley an unviable presidential candidate at 51 years of age, 10 years past when he considers a woman “in her prime.”

Lemon doesn’t like fat women, old women, or women who speak too often on his set.

Calls for Lemon’s ousting emerged following the Haley saga, when Harlow fled the set. But sources suggested to Variety that Don’s backstage antics saved his career:

“Those who worked with him say he was a shameless name dropper and left behind hints that he socialized with important people, like a hand-written note from Stedman Graham that he had taped on his computer. Some were unnerved by his talk of his previous lawsuits, believing it signaled that he was litigious. He frequently let drop that he successfully sued Tower Records as well as the Chicago PD for racial profiling and didn’t need to worry about money thanks to the settlements. (Variety can only find record of the former, which was settled in 2001 and appears to be sealed. Through a CNN spokesperson, Lemon says he never sued the Chicago PD). All the while, he began openly dating a fresh-out-of-college staffer despite a major age difference and power imbalance. (Lemon was 41, while the staffer was 22.) The ambitious anchor, who is gay, was not out of the closet at the time, but wasn’t hiding it either. The pair would drive to work together in Lemon’s car and began along-term open relationship. Dating a junior employee was frowned upon at the time. “

That and he’s a gay black man, making him difficult to fire in a 2023 climate.

 “[Nancy Grace] thinks he’s an ass”

Don Lemon is a troubled little man with mommy issues.

And his colleagues despise him for that.

Consider only people inside the walls of CNN were aware of the details in the report. Leaks get out when someone wants a leak to get out. Thereby former or current co-workers spoke to the outlet anomalously to make known of Lemon’s past.

The leak was intended to further pressure CNN to do away with Don.

Forget the Haley incident. CNN pays Lemon to spew opinions. His remarks toward Haley were listless but nonetheless an opinion.

However, fireable are his other incidents, such as reportedly “screaming” at colleagues and mistreating producers behind the scenes.

The gravest mistake a media company can make is enabling an individual to treat poorly members of their own team.

Doing so causes the company leader to lose the locker room, as it appears said leader is making an expectation for a specific individual at the expense of the roster.

Lemon chastising Collins, calling a producer “fat,” complaining and liking tweets on social media about co-workers (as he did with Anderson Cooper) should have urged CNN to dismiss Don Lemon entirely.

Forget his misogyny. Lemon is vile.

And he’s not worth the exception, no matter his skin color and sexual preferences.

Only CNN viewers despise him more than his colleagues.

Lemon continues to poison the ratings across the company. His primetime failures have re-emerged during the morning hours.

Post-demotion, Lemon has sunk CNN’s morning show to lows not seen in a decade. His struggles have rippled up the entire lineup.

Hosts are unable to claw the network out of the hole Lemon digs each morning.

Don Lemon is a ghoul. And so quite unsuccessful at it.

His downside has long outstripped his upside, the latter of which allows CNN to promote its elevation of a gay black man.

Perhaps the latest leak with force CNN’s hand.

Attorney Devin McRae, who specializes in entertainment contract litigation, says Lemon’s contract allows CNN to boot him out of the company at anytime

“These provisions that [CNN anchors] have in their contracts that define what is cause for termination, it’s pretty abstract. That allows CNN to subjectively apply it. 

“Ultimately, it does seem to come down to, ‘How is Lemon’s behavior making CNN look?’” 


Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.

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  1. If Lemon had gotten that Iraq assignment and tried to back door one of those Iraqi men they would have cut his nuts off and then killed him. The folks from that part of the world don’t dig the hershey highwaymen.

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