On CNN This Morning last week, Don Lemon and Kaitlan Collins got into a heated argument, and viewers are starting to notice a pattern. Several individuals shared video from the Thursday morning program in which Lemon attempted to finish reading a piece on Brittney Griner despite Collins’ persistent attempts to cut him off. As a result, the hosts were talking over one another, and the audience was split over who was at fault.
After a piece from a correspondent on the scene on Thursday morning, Lemon was reading the most recent information regarding Griner’s return to the United States. Lemon appeared to be working through a predetermined number of facts before moving on to the next narrative while gazing down at his notes, while Collins appeared to be attempting to make the exchange more conversational.
Viewers differed on whether Lemon should have accepted Collins’ attempt at a give-and-take or whether Collins should have recognized Lemon’s tone and given up. In any case, social media users complained that this nascent morning show lacked “chemistry.”
The incident on Thursday apparently did not come to a close there. Insiders said that Lemon spent the day off work on Friday, leaving Collins and Poppy Harlow to present without him in a piece about the larger problems affecting CNN behind the scenes. Some people at the studio believed that Lemon took the day off to avoid further conflict because he was upset by his tense exchange with Collins the day before.
For what it’s worth, other people believed Lemon just took the day off because he was exhausted from his travels. The previous night, he went to the White House Christmas dinner in Washington, D.C., which left him with little time to go back and forth. In either case, his absence stood out.
Lemon and Collins have previously stepped on each other’s toes in a similar manner. The two appeared to be in a sincere disagreement earlier this month on television as they discussed the pay disparity between men and women who play professional soccer. Lemon received criticism at the time for what viewers perceived to be misogyny, and many now believe that he was disrespectful to Collins as well.
The Puck News article makes assumptions regarding Lemon’s mindset at this stage of his career and CNN’s development. CNN This Morning and other network experiments don’t seem to be improving the network’s issues with poor ratings and a lack of public confidence. Collins and Lemon have not yet made any public remarks regarding their perceived awkwardness on-screen.