TV host Don Lemon addressed the news of his termination from CNN on the red carpet of 2023 TIME100 Gala on Wednesday night. When asked what influence he had left the news corporation where he had been a longtime host for 17 years, he said: “Why don’t you ask my colleagues about that? I think they’ll probably have a good answer for you.”

Lemon took to the red carpet at the 2023 TIME100 Gala in New York City, just two days after his termination was announced. CNN announced it was parting ways with the anchor who co-hosted its morning show, CNN This Morning, on Monday after reports of accusations of bad behavior.

Lemon responded on Twitter saying he was “stunned” about being terminated from CNN, but “I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run,” he posted. “They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best.”

Lemon faced backlash after comments he made in February about women and aging that were largely interpreted as being sexist. During an episode of “CNN This Morning” with his female co-anchors, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collin, Lemon said that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who is 51, “isn’t in her prime, sorry.”

“A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s,” Lemon added. “I’m just saying what the facts are — Google it.”

Lemon faced criticism and accusations of misogyny from viewers and the media. He later apologized and said “the people I’m closest to in this organization are women.”

Lemon shared his plans with TIME, saying that he will be spending time sitting on the beach with his husband, Tim Malone, and “having a great summer.” “I’m going to have the summer of a 12-year-old,” he joked.

Lemon recently hired notable Hollywood lawyer Bryan Freedman to represent him in relation to his termination. Freedman was also hired by former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, who parted ways with Fox this week after also facing allegations of misogyny in the workplace.

The TIME100 special airs Sunday at 7/6c on ABC and streams on Hulu and Disney+.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at

Angela Bassett: ‘We Can’t Define Ourselves Based on Awards’
Salma Hayek Pinault Hopes Hollywood Keeps Moving in the Right Direction on Latino Representation
These are Highlights From the TIME100 2023 Summit
Kim Kardashian On How Her Brand Has Leveraged A Multi-Billion Dollar Business and a Successful Criminal Justice Reform Effort
MILCK on Her Journey of Music and Activism Since Her Viral Women’s March Anthem
John Legend on Harry Belafonte’s Passing and Life, Art, and Activism