Female staffers at CNN are threatening to quit their jobs if Don Lemon isn’t fired over his “sexist” remarks about Nikki Haley, according to a new report.
Lemon sparked outrage after he asserted that women in their 50s are “past their prime” while discussing Haley, who is 51.
The blowback was swift — and Lemon was noticeably absent from the morning show on Monday.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, a source within CNN told them, “people are hurt by his actions and are not going to let this go. It is like every woman over 50 in America has taken this as a personal insult. The female staffers at CNN definitely have. He needs to make his vacation a permanent one.”
A second source reportedly told the paper, “the women of CNN are angry. He’s made it impossible to do their jobs. He’s an embarrassment to the network and needs to go.”
Poppy Harlow was so upset about the comments that she reportedly stormed off the set.
“Don has been skating on thin ice for so long and many wanted him fired in December when he freaked out on Kaitlin Collins for no reason,” a source told the Mail. “She was in tears and it was so inappropriate.”
“Regardless of his political affiliation, his comments that Nikki Haley being past her prime were disgusting. Poppy was fuming, as she should be, and still is.”
When approached by the Mail about female staffers threatening to quit, a CNN spokesperson declined to comment on the issue.
The paper asked another spokesperson for the network if it was true that Don Lemon is being inched towards the exit door in the wake of this latest scandal.
The spokesperson said, “it is patently false to say Don is being pushed to resign.”
However, the Mail’s insiders maintain that the uproar is not quieting down.
“CNN has been literally, flooded like a tidal wave with extremely angry and offended loyal viewers,” one of the tipsters said. “There is not one person at CNN who that thinks that he should remain on air. He knows how badly he screwed up and he also knows that he cannot talk his way out of this one. His apology meant nothing.”
CNN’s Chairman Chris Licht has called Lemon’s comments “upsetting, unacceptable and unfair to his co-hosts, and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization.”
Once he realized the extent of the outrage, Lemon apologized.
“I’m sorry I don’t mean to hurt anyone. I did not mean to offend anyone,” he said during an editorial call with the network’s staff. “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,”
The staff has reportedly not accepted the apology.