Don Lemon’s problematic behavior was exposed. The CNN host reportedly had “a tantrum.” According to a well-placed insider, Lemon also “lost his mind” and “went ballistic” after he found out what his coworkers really thought about him.
Don Lemon reportedly found out the hard way that treating your coworkers with contempt and disdain might just backfire in a big way. It all started when Lemon blew up at his cohost Kaitlan Collins off-camera during an ugly incident that has left the cast and crew rattled ever since, the New York Post reported.
According to sources close to the incident, Lemon approached Collins and unloaded on her in front of staffers as he accused her of “interrupting” him on air. “Don screamed at Kaitlan, who was visibly upset and ran out of the studio,” one source with knowledge of the skirmish said. However, just hours after that tantrum was exposed, the CNN anchor allegedly had a second blowup at work.
After the latest in a spate of recent reports regarding his problematic behavior toward his morning show co-hosts was highlighted by an internal CNN newsletter, Lemon reportedly “went ballistic,” the entertainment news website Radar Online reported, citing a “well-placed insider” as its source.
“Don lost his mind internally and went ballistic at staffers after the CNN newsletter highlighted a story about him screaming,” the source claimed. A representative of CNN told The Post that Lemon had announced earlier that same week that he was jetting off to Los Angeles to attend Clive Davis’ star-studded party. Lemon returned to the show Monday in virtually the same black suit he wore to the music executive’s bash on Saturday, swapping out a black bowtie for a dark green tie.
Sources claimed Lemon has had trouble sharing the spotlight with Collins and Harlow, The Post added. “Don has an intractable ego,” a source close to both CNN boss Chris Licht and Lemon said. “My understanding is he wants the show to be about him. I don’t know how you fix that. It’s a very difficult situation.” To address the tensions, another insider reported, “Don has been given notes” by the show’s producers “to not talk so much, to let other people talk.”
“Don’s a bossy guy and difficult to work with — even he would admit that. He was a solo act before. He doesn’t want to be in Destiny’s Child,” the source added, referring to the music group headlined by Beyoncé in the early aughts. Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly blasted Lemon, saying that “he better be careful” since his new show “is on its last legs before it even got on its first legs.” According to reports, Lemon’s morning show has languished last in the ratings against its rivals.
“I’ve cohosted more hours than I can count with a lot of big egos,” Kelly added. “And never, ever have I screamed at a colleague or have him scream at me. We’ve had charged disagreements and I had a charged disagreement with Chris Wallace one time, but if someone ever screamed at me, where I was visibly upset and had to leave the studio, I would have that person fired!”
Other issues with Lemon also came to light. The CNN anchor got into an awkward dispute with Collins and Harlow on air, arguing that the US men’s soccer team should get paid more than the women’s team despite the men’s relative lack of success at the World Cup. The dustup made headlines, with the Daily Beast quoting Lemon saying the men were “more interesting to watch” — a comment that Lemon quickly walked back and insisted was a joke.
Until November 2022, Lemon had hosted his 10 p.m. show Don Lemon Tonight, but CNN’s new boss canceled it amid lackluster ratings and moved him to the morning show, which airs weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. When news of the reshuffle broke, Lemon ripped reports that called the move a “demotion.”
In private, meanwhile, a Lemon confidant told The Post that he “didn’t like” that Collins had worked for the right-leaning website the Daily Caller before her gig covering the Trump White House for CNN. “Collins rose to stardom as a Trump White House correspondent, where she made a name for herself as a fearless, take-no-bulls–t reporter,” journalist Dylan Byers reported. “But she has yet to find her footing behind the desk, sharing the spotlight with older and more experienced anchors.”