NEW YORK (CNN) — CNN anchor Don Lemon will return to the screen Wednesday and participate in formal training following sexist comments he made last week, the network’s chief executive, Chris Licht, said in an email to employees Monday morning.
“I sat down with Dan and we had a frank and meaningful conversation,” Licht wrote in a memo. “He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continue to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously.”
“It’s important to me to balance CNN’s responsibility with fostering a culture where people can take ownership, learn from their mistakes and grow,” Licht added. “To that end, Dan will return to CNN’s ‘This Morning’ this Wednesday.”
During Friday’s daily editorial briefing, Lemon previously apologized to staff for his comments, which drew internal and external backlash.
“When I make a mistake, I own it,” Lemon said. “I consider this too.”
Lemon made the sexist comments during a discussion on former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s presidential bid on “CNN This Morning” on Thursday.
In announcing her candidacy for president, Haley called for mental fitness tests for politicians age 75 and older. Lemon argued that Haley, 51, was “not in her prime.”
Lemon tried to support his argument by saying that a woman is “only considered prime in her 20s, 30s, maybe 40s.”
The comments were disputed by co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Caitlon Collins, but Lemon continued to push his argument forward, doubling down on it in a segment for the next hour.
Haley herself later weighed in on Twitter, attacking Lemon for her comments and even using them for fundraising.
During Friday’s CNN editorial meeting, Licht, CNN’s chief executive, said he had heard about Lemon’s comments from several people at the company.
Licht called Lemon’s comments “unacceptable” and said they were “unfair to his co-hosts.”
Licht added that he believes it’s important to foster a culture of accountability, and that Lemon’s appearance at the nearly held morning meeting to apologize was important.
Lemon thanked Licht for the opportunity to address the staff directly and said he wanted to be “really clear” about expressing regret for the comments.
“I think women of any age … can do whatever they set their mind to,” Lemon said.
“The people closest to me in this organization are the women,” Lemmon added, citing her relationships with various female presenters and administrators. “The people I ask for advice the most in this organization are women.
Lemon has not appeared on CNN since making the comments.
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