Megyn Kelly chimed in on CNN’s sudden firing of Don Lemon after nearly two decades of employment at the network, calling their decision “classless.”
On her SiriusXM podcast The Megyn Kelly Show, the conservative talk show host had already discussed the firing of Tucker Carlson from Fox , which occurred moments prior, when she got wind of Lemon’s situation.
“There’s now breaking news from CNN, Don Lemon has been fired,” Kelly said. “Am I still employed myself?”
She continued to read from a statement Lemon released after news of his firing.
The anchor said he was “shocked” by CNN’s decision and claimed that nobody in management told him directly.
“At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network,” he wrote in a statement on social media.
On the podcast, Kelly said, “Everybody knows I’m not exactly Don Lemon’s fan, but he’s not wrong. If that’s true, that he was just told by his agent he was fired, and they didn’t have the balls to tell him man-to-man, that’s just classless. He’s got a right to complain about that.”
Her executive producer Steve Krakauer chimed in, stating that Lemon was “on air” the morning that he was fired. Kelly speculated that it was an “escort him out of the building type of situation.”
The two continued to discuss what potentially went wrong at CNN, saying that there “must have been something, like a final straw.” Krakauer stated that there have been “rumblings” of CNN wanting to part with Lemon, saying the final decision was “not a shock.”
Over the years, Lemon has been a controversial figure for the network. Most recently, he was mandated to participate in “formal training” after being pulled off air for making inappropriate comments about Nikki Haley not being in her “prime” during a February broadcast.
Variety then published an explosive report detailing the anchor’s “volatile” behavior, citing examples of Lemon retaliating against another reporter because they got an assignment that he wanted and calling a producer “fat” to her face. In response, Lemon slammed Variety‘s reporting, calling it “false” and “15-year-old anonymous gossip.”
Last week, he was caught making a backhanded remark about Jon Stewart while on air and dismissing his guest, GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, after he made inaccurate statements about the Civil War.
In another segment, Kelly spoke with The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald about Lemon’s exit. She wondered, “It’s kind of interesting to talk about Don Lemon. What the hell? Why now?” She went on to refer to a recent incident where CNN CEO Chris Licht was “just out there publicly” praising Lemon’s work, saying that “only old Don Lemon is controversial.” Kelly continued, “And then boom! He’s fired too.”
Greenwald chimed in on the firing, citing Lemon’s “personality flaws” and unwillingness to connect with his colleagues and guests. He said, “He [Lemon] really feels like all the attention should be on him.”
The two then discussed CNN’s ratings. “Their ratings on that morning show are in the toilet. The entire daytime and primetime ratings and CNN are in the toilet,” Kelly claimed. “Their main competitor MSNBC is doubling them right now. They got nothing going, absolutely nothing. And I’m sure he’s making a nice salary. So far, he’s been untouchable. I’d love to find out what changed, because the last straw felt very sudden.”
Lemon formerly hosted CNN This Morning alongside Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins; the show is set to continue without him. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Harlow and Collins commented on Lemon’s firing during Tuesday’s (April 25) show and wished the dethroned anchor “the best.”
“Don was a big part of this show over the last six months. He was one of the first anchors on CNN to have me on his show. That’s something I’ll obviously never forget,” Collins said.
Watch Kelly’s full comments in the videos above.