Michelle Yeoh, the winner of the Oscar for Best Actress, appeared to poke fun at CNN anchor Don Lemon during her victory speech on Sunday night, but Lemon completely disregarded the joke on Monday morning’s broadcast.
Yeoh, who was born in Malaysia and is now 60 years old, made history as the first Asian actor and the second woman of color to win in the category with her performance in “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.”
Speaking on the greatest platform in Hollywood at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night, Yeoh proudly held her golden trophy as she delivered an emotional acceptance speech. Women, never believe anyone who tells you that your best years are behind you.
The phrase, which was met with a roaring ovation from the crowd, appeared to be a jab at CNN veteran Don Lemon for his insensitive comments regarding GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s age last month.
CNN This Morning’s Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins covered the Oscars on Monday and talked about Yeoh’s historic triumph.
I felt it was a crucial and confirming moment for Asian Americans, and I hope that you know they feel that in our nation and that everyone does,” Lemon remarked.
Some of Yeoh’s speech was featured on CNN, but the line about women never reaching their “peak” was cut.
However, her comments were never addressed by the panel.
Lemon sat between the two female presenters, looking expressionlessly into the camera, while Harlow quickly sought to wrap up the piece by stating, “alright, then let’s move on.” She then cast a glance towards Collins.
It didn’t take long for social media users to notice Yeoh’s scathing statement and jump on the apparent insult.
“Excellent clever jab at Don Lemon’s ‘beyond your prime’ statement, #MichelleYeoh!!!” journalist Robert A Georg tweeted.
Another else made the delighted observation, “Lololol @donlemon just had his ass given to him by Michelle Yeoh. And rightly so. Lol.”
Has anyone checked on #DonLemon?” a third joked.
After allegations of sexism and ageism, Lemon was removed from television just weeks before Monday’s on-air conversation.
Lemon, 56, said on air on February 16 that, as a woman above the age of 50, she had no business criticizing the age of other politicians when addressing the former South Carolina governor’s attempt to remove the 80-year-old President Biden.
Age discrimination discussions in general make me uneasy, Lemon remarked.
I believe that this is the incorrect path to take. She thinks that individuals (politicians included) are beyond their prime. No, Nikki Haley has long since passed her prime. When a woman is in her twenties, thirties, and even forties, society often considers her to be her most attractive.
The 40-year-old Harlow called him out on his outburst, and Lemon tried to backtrack by saying his words did not represent his ideas.
That’s not how I see it,” he replied. It’s good. If you do the research. Your search results for “when is a lady in her prime?” will likely include the ages 20–40.
As Harlow stormed off set in a huff, Lemon made an awkward attempt to make amends by saying that his remarks were “inartful and irrelevant.”
In response to the outcry that Lemon’s sexist rant provoked, CNN CEO Chris Licht chastised Lemon and suspended him from his position as anchor of “CNN This Morning” for three days.
Lemon received “formal training” and apologized to his Twitter followers, writing, “To my network, my coworkers, and our wonderful audience – I’m sorry.” on the 22nd. I’ve taken your comments to heart, and I promise to improve. Have a good day and we’ll see you soon!