Don Lemon says Elon Musk canceled his contract with X Talk Show Shortly After The interview: The Tech Billionaire ‘Is Mad at Me’

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Don Lemon, who was fired from CNN last year after 17 years at the network, was working with Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) to launch a new talk show on the platform.

Now, according to Lemon, Musk has ended the partnership — just hours after Lemon interviewed the tech mogul last week.

“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,” Don Lemon said in a statement posted Wednesday on X. “He informed me of his decision hours after an interview I conducted with him on Friday. That interview will remain the premiere episode of ‘The Don Lemon Show’ on Monday, March 18.”

“Don has a deal with X and he expects to be paid for it, If we have to go to court, we will.” a representative for Lemmon told Variety.

In a clip on X, Lemmon said, “Elon Musk is mad at me… This does not change anything about the show except for my relationship with Elon and X, and there’s a whole lot that went down, and I’m gonna tell you about it in the coming days.” Lemon said in reference to the Musk interview, “Apparently, free speech absolutism doesn’t apply when it comes to questions about him from people like me.”

“‘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 said in a statement. “However, like any enterprise, we reserve the right to make decisions about our business partnerships, and after careful consideration, X decided not to enter into a commercial partnership with the show.”

In an attempt to clarify what happened, Musk stated in a post on X that Lemon’s approach, “was basically just ‘CNN, but on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying. And, instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just [former CNN president] Jeff Zucker talking through Don, so lacked authenticity. All this said, Lemon/Zucker are of course welcome to build their viewership on this platform along with everyone else.”

In a written statement, Lemon explained, “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. 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.”

Lemon went on saying, “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.”

In his statement, Lemmon said the interview with Musk will be available on YouTube, “wherever you listen to podcasts” and on X. “This will be just the first of many episodes of ‘The Don Lemon Show.’ While Elon goes back on his word, I will be doubling down on my commitment to free speech and I cannot wait to get started,” he said.

Don Lemon
X /@Don Lemon

The former CNN anchor, who left the Warner Bros. Discovery-backed news outlet last year when he moved to duties at his morning program, launched a new media company in January 2024 and and said it would debut a new program on X.

About Post Author

Michelle Watson

Michelle Watson is a national news editor for usnewsdaily national newsgathering team. Prior to joining the desk, Michelle worked to vet and research stories for the Row, usnewsdaily editorial judgement body.Since joining usnewsdaily in 2017, Michelle has played a role in a number major stories for usnewsdaily including the network’s coverage of the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Irma after it made landfall and the tragic shooting deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. She also worked with usnewsdaily political team fact checking the 2020 presidential election.Michelle holds a degree from Louisiana State University in Mass Communication with a minor in history.
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