Elon Musk kills Don Lemon’s new X present earlier than it ever started


X has canceled a high-profile partnership with former CNN host Don Lemon to stream a video discuss present on the platform. Lemon stated that the corporate canceled his contract hours after he interviewed X’s billionaire proprietor Elon Musk for the primary episode of “The Don Lemon Present,” which was scheduled to stream on the platform this Monday.

“Elon Musk is mad at me,” Lemon stated in a video posted to X on Wednesday. “Apparently, free speech absolutism doesn’t apply relating to questions on him from folks like me.”

Lemon’s announcement got here a day after firm CEO Linda Yaccarino declared that X was turning into a “video first” platform. It introduced the partnership with Lemon in January as half of a bigger technique to stream extra authentic content material on the service. This included placing offers with former consultant Tulsi Gabbard and sports activities radio commentator Jim Rome to stream their very own reveals on the platform. Final yr, X reportedly made a comparable deal with Tucker Carlson after he was fired from his internet hosting duties at Fox Information. X’s resolution to cancel Lemon’s present raises questions concerning the firm’s technique.

“The Don Lemon Present is welcome to publish its content material on X, with out censorship, as we imagine in offering a platform for creators to scale their work and join with new communities,” X stated in an announcement. “Nonetheless, like every enterprise, we reserve the fitting to make selections about our enterprise partnerships, and after cautious consideration, X determined to not enter right into a business partnership with the present.”

Lemon stated that he’ll now stream the primary episode of “The Don Lemon Present” on X, YouTube and different podcast platforms, and is getting ready for a authorized combat in case X refuses what’s reportedly a multi-million greenback payout. “Don has a take care of X and he expects to be paid for it,” a spokesperson for Lemon advised Selection. “If we have now to go to court docket, we are going to.” Nonetheless, two nameless sources claimed to Semafor that Lemon could not have really signed a contract with X. Musk has a historical past of withholding funds. A bunch of former Twitter executives together with the corporate’s ex-CEO Parag Agrawal are suing Musk and X over thousands and thousands of {dollars} in unpaid severance advantages.

Lemon’s interview with Musk, which was recorded on Friday, spanned a variety of subjects together with the presidential election, and, reportedly, the billionaire’s alleged ketamine use, the topic of a Wall Avenue Journal story revealed earlier this yr. “Hardcore questions had been requested,” Lemon advised an X person. In a written assertion, Lemon stated that he had a “good dialog” with Musk, however the billionaire clearly didn’t appear to assume so.

Musk wrote that Lemon’s method was “principally simply ‘CNN, however on social media’, which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the truth that CNN is dying,” in response to a person asking X about particular causes for terminating the partnership with Lemon. “And, as an alternative of it being the true Don Lemon,” Musk sniped, “it was actually simply [former CNN President] Jeff Zucker speaking via Don, so lacked authenticity.”

Lemon was fired from CNN almost a yr in the past after making on-air remarks in opposition to former Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley that many thought-about sexist and ageist, in addition to stories displaying he engaged in misogynistic habits over his 15-year tenure at CNN.

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