CNN anchor Don Lemon has hit out at the network after his firing, which came after accusations of misogyny and misbehavior.
“I am stunned,” Lemon wrote on Twitter, saying he was told by his agent he had been let go.
CNN said it “parted ways” with Lemon, who co-hosted its morning show, saying “we wish him well”.
It follows on-air remarks by Lemon in which he said Republican Nikki Haley, 51, was not “in her prime”.
The dismissal also comes on the heels of another major US media departure. Just moments before Lemon’s announcement, Fox News announced it was parting ways with primetime host Tucker Carlson.
A long-time fixture of the network, Lemon was most recently a co-host of CNN’s This Morning program me.
But he landed in hot water earlier this year after comments he made about Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley, a former UN ambassador and governor of South Carolina.
Ms Haley was not “in her prime”, Lemon said in February, a remark widely decried as sexist.
“When a woman is considered to be in her prime – in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s,” he said.
“I’m just saying what the facts are – Google it,” he added, in response to objections from his female co-hosts, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
Lemon issued a statement on the same day saying he regretted his “inartful and irrelevant” comments. He also apologised to the newsroom and agreed to partake in “mandatory training” to address the incident.
But the remarks sparked widespread criticism, including from actress Michelle Yeoh, 60, who appeared to reference the comments in her Oscar’s acceptance speech last month, saying: “Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime.”
In a tweet on Monday, Ms Haley appeared to address the firing, calling it a “great day for women everywhere” adding “#StillInMyPrime”.
He was widely criticized for sexist comments he made on “CNN This Morning” in February. During an on-air discussion about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s proposal that older politicians take competency tests, Lemon argued that the 51-year-old Haley “isn’t in her prime.”
Lemon said a woman is only “considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.” Co-anchors Harlow and Collins pushed back, but Lemon doubled down on his point.
Licht later sent a memo to CNN staff, calling the comments “unacceptable.” Licht said he had a “frank” conversation with Lemon, who apologized and was set to participate in formal training sessions
“It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with … fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes,” Licht said at the time.
“When I make a mistake, I own it,” Lemon told staff during an editorial meeting. “And I own this one as well.”
Earlier this month, Variety published a report detailing allegations of misogyny aimed at female coworkers. Lemon denied the allegations.
During a recent panel discussion with the news outlet Semafor, Licht described Lemon as a “lightning rod.”
“Because he really came to prominence during an era where that was celebrated and encouraged in prime time. That was CNN’s prime time. That is not CNN’s prime time” anymore, Licht said.
“The world has moved on from that. Don has moved on from that,” Licht continued. “Don was the first one to go, ‘I’m tired of having to set my hair on fire every night. I want to try something new.’ ”
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