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'Elon Musk is mad at me': Don Lemon says Musk ended host's partnership with X 'hours after' their interview
Image via @DonLemon / X

'Elon Musk is mad at me': Don Lemon says Musk ended host's partnership with X 'hours after' their interview

Television host and political commentator Don Lemon says that Elon Musk's X canceled their partnership agreement just hours after Lemon interviewed the platform owner for the first episode of his new show.

The social media app announced in January 2024 that Lemon, among others, was set to launch a new show on the platform to showcase a diverse range of viewpoints.

However, as Lemon noted through a statement, the two entities have ended their partnership agreement after the very first episode was filmed.

" Elon Musk has canceled the partnership I had with X, which they announced as part of their public commitment to amplifying more diverse voices on their platform," Lemon wrote in a statement. The former CNN host said that it took mere hours after his interview of Musk for the billionaire to pull the plug.

"He informed me of his decision hours after an interview I conducted with him on Friday. That interview will remain the premier episode of the 'The Don Lemon Show.'"

"Elon publicly encouraged me to join X with a new show, saying I would have his 'full support,' and that his 'digital town square is for all.' He and his team pursued the deal in numerous conversations and made significant commitments about the support X would provide for the show," Lemon continued.

The 58-year-old did not specify what questions could possibly have led Musk to cancel the agreement but alleged that a line of questioning "from people like [him]" wasn't allowed.

"I made the decision to work with them in a unique partnership that I believed would ultimately assure that my work would be available to the most people, in the largest possible venue. I took Elon and his management team's word that they, for the first time, were interested in working directly with new and diverse voices."

"There were no restrictions on the interview that he willingly agreed to, and my questions were respectful and wide ranging, covering everything from SpaceX to the presidential election. We had a good conversation. Clearly he felt differently. His commitment to a global town square where all questions can be asked and all ideas can be shared seems not to include questions of him from people like me," he concluded.

Just 33 minutes after Lemon's statement was posted on X, the platform's official business account released its own statement:

"X is a platform that champions free speech, and we’re proud to provide an open environment for diverse voices and perspectives. The Don Lemon Show is welcome to publish its content on X, without censorship, as we believe in providing a platform for creators to scale their work and connect with new communities."

X officials did not explain the reasoning for the breakup, simply saying that "like any enterprise," they "reserve the right to make decisions" about business partnerships.

Following his formal statement, Lemon posted a video that appeared to have been recorded on his phone about the apparent fallout from the interview.

"Elon Musk is mad at me," he began. Lemon added that it was indeed the interview that Musk was "apparently so upset about" that ended the partnership. The host noted that nothing would change regarding his new show "except for my relationship with Elon and X," adding that there was "a whole lot that went down."

Lemon was fired from CNN in 2023 after he began having confrontational moments on the air with cohosts and guests. Some speculated that a race-based conversation with Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy led to the ouster, while others thought that comments about the age of candidate Nikki Haley contributed to the firing, as well.

Lemon was awarded a reported $24.5 million as part of his dismissal from CNN.

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