CNN's Don Lemon Released A Statement After The Internet Turned On Him For Saying Nikki Haley, 51, Is Past Her Prime As A Woman

Don Lemon went viral for all the wrong reasons this morning when his on-air CNN This Morning comments about women being in their "prime" in their 20s, 30s and "maybe" 40s exploded on Twitter. The host was trying to say he was uncomfortable with Nikki Haley, who is 51, calling out Joe Biden, who is 80, about his age. He said she needed to be careful since she was past her prime as a woman. 

One of his co-hosts asked him to clarify, and he basically doubled down, saying the "facts" are a woman is in her prime in her 20s, 30s and maybe 40s. Well, upon further review he has decided to clarify even more. He hit up Twitter to apologize for what happened. You can see his tweet below...

At this point, it's unclear whether his apology will break the news cycle or whether it'll continue with people further being outraged by his comments. For, now you can check out the original article below, which contains more details and a video of the conversation everyone is talking about.

Original Story Follows:

News anchor Don Lemon was speaking with his co-hosts on CNN This Morning when the subject of age came up. Specifically, the panel was talking about Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley’s recent comments about the age of President Joe Biden (and indirectly the age of former President Donald Trump). Lemon said the conversation made him uncomfortable because Haley, who is 51, is past her own prime as a woman. He then went on to say women are in their primes in their 20s, 30s and “maybe” 40s.

His statement didn’t go over particularly well with his female co-hosts, but they treated him with kid gloves compared to the Internet, which has been very aggressive with loudly condemning Lemon’s comments. Before we get into that response though, here’s a look at his exact words…

This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s the wrong road to go down. She says politicians (over a certain age) aren’t in their prime. Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s, her 30s and maybe 40s. That’s not according to me… If you Google when is a woman in her prime, it’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s. I’m not saying I agree with that, but she has to be careful about saying that… Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it.

You may notice there are several ellipses in that quote. That’s because, on multiple occasions, co-host Poppy Harlow interjected with statements like “prime for what?” and “are you talking about prime for childbearing or are you talking about prime for being President?” Lemon just kept doubling down, inferring it was just the general prime for being a woman. Harlow was clearly not pleased with the conversation, and once Lemon realized it, he pivoted to talking about how much old people turn out to vote and how his mother, who is 80, could still be a good President.

Don Lemon is, of course, no stranger to controversy. He got in a back-and-forth earlier this year with Stephen Colbert after the Internet roasted one of his outfits, and he’s had plenty of other situations, including one with Dave Chappelle, in which he’s made the news, rather than reported it. That being said, the level of outrage from the Internet here is louder and more aggressive than he typically sees. 

At first, much of the angry chatter was concentrated to right wing journalists and talking heads on Twitter, but the conversation is starting to become much broader, to the point where he's trending and if you search Don Lemon, Twitter offers the term “prime” in the search bar. There are also more than a few users pointing out that he’s, in fact, older than Haley is. 

You can check out the video of Lemon’s comments below…

There have only been 9 total United States Presidents that were sworn in before their 50th birthday. Current President Joe Biden is 80 years old, and the topic of age seems likely to be a focal point of the campaign, given he’s already the oldest President in US history, and former President Trump, who is running again, is currently 76. Exactly what the public debate around those conversations ends up looking like is unclear at this point and will likely defend on numerous factors like polling and who else ends up running.

As for Lemon, it’s unclear whether anything will come from this. The Internet is currently very mad, especially on the right wing side of the aisle, but the Internet is always mad about something and many of those conversations just slowly go away. If this keeps building momentum, however, he may be forced to make a statement at some point. We’ll keep you updated if he does. 

Editor In Chief

Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.