(Headline USA) Rev. Al Sharpton released a statement this week demanding that CNN explain why it fired longtime anchor Don Lemon.
“We are completely stunned at the termination of Don Lemon,” Sharpton, an MSNBC host and head of the National Action Network, said in a statement with National Urban League CEO Marc Morial.
“Throughout his career, Don has been a superb journalist who was very open to the civil rights community on issues others wouldn’t touch… With the health of our democracy undergoing perhaps its greatest test, we cannot afford to silence his voice,” Sharpton added.
Lemon revealed on Monday that he had been fired by the network and claimed there were “larger issues at play.”
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned,” he wrote in a post on Twitter. “After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network.”
CNN released its own statement denying Lemon’s version of events, saying Lemon had the opportunity to speak with management but decided to tweet out his own announcement instead.
However, Sharpton suggested that there is more to Lemon’s ouster than CNN is willing to admit.
“We would like to know what he alludes to when he said there are greater things at play, which is why we urge for a full explanation as to why he was let go in such a fashion,” he and Morial said.
Lemon had been the subject of controversy within the network for months due to his behavior on and off the air, according to reports. But the final straw for CNN executives was his on-air interview with GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, during which he insulted Ramaswamy repeatedly.