Things between CNN morning show co-hosts Don Lemon and Kaitlin Collins appear to have gone from bad to worse, according to a report published this week.
According to RadarOnline.com, Collins, 30, has “had private conversations about returning to Washington, D.C., leaving her on-air frenemy Don Lemon, 57, and Poppy Harlow, 40, in the dust. The revelation comes three months after Lemon blew up on Collins, ‘screaming’ and accusing her of ‘interrupting’ him after their December 8 broadcast.”
Previous reports noted that following Lemon’s outburst, several witnesses said that Collins appeared “visibly upset,” and “shaken.” And now, months later, Collins simply wants to limit her work with and exposure to Lemon as much as possible.
Furthermore, Collins — who became CNN’s youngest White House correspondent in the network’s history — has distanced herself even more by parting ways with her United Talent Agency agent, Jay Sures, who also represents Lemon.
According to a February from the New York Post, several sources said that Lemon “screamed” at Collins following the ‘interruption’ incident, adding that Lemon, apparently, is unhappy sharing on-air duties with both Collins and Harlow.
The Post noted: “According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, the 56-year-old Lemon approached 30-year-old Collins following the show’s Thursday, Dec. 8 broadcast — and unloaded on her in front of staffers as he accused her of interrupting him on air. News of the explosive incident made its way up to CNN CEO Chris Licht, who is said to have been appalled by Lemon’s behavior, according to a source. A second source said a producer talked to Lemon at the behest of Licht and told the anchor to take the next day off to ‘cool off.’”
Lemon did not help the situation when, also last month, he insulted GOP presidential contender Nikki Haley by alleging she should not make age an issue on the campaign trail regarding President Joe Biden because she is “past her prime” at 51.
Lemon took Haley to task last week after she called for members of Congress 75 and older to be able to pass a cognitive exam before being eligible to serve, suggesting that Haley was no longer in her “prime.” Lemon referenced “Google” to support his contention that Haley, who is 51 years old, will face a difficult challenge in winning the presidency, as women are only considered to be in their prime during their “20s, 30s, and 40s.”
“I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it. Everybody at home, when is a woman in her prime, it says 20s, 30s, and 40s,” he said during a segment. “And I’m just saying Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politicians are not in their prime, and they need to be in their prime when they serve. Because she wouldn’t be in her prime according to Google or whatever it is.”
Subsequent reports claimed that Harlow and Collins were so upset by the remarks they took “well-timed” bathroom breaks, leaving the set.
“Chris isn’t happy and he has spoken to Don a couple of times today,” a source told The Post. “Don knows it can’t happen again.”
Lemon took to Twitter later Thursday to tweet an apology: “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.”
Haley responded: “To be clear, I am NOT calling for competency tests for sexist middle-aged CNN anchors; only for people who make our laws and are 75+.”
Following the incident, CNN CEO Chris Licht said Lemon had agreed to undergo training regarding “sexism.”
“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation. He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continue 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,” Licht told staff at the time.