(Headline USA) CNN leadership is cracking down on their hosts’ habit of getting sloppily drunk during the network’s New Year’s Eve program.
CNN President Chris Licht was at first willing to allow hosts Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen to drink during the program, despite his concerns about the program not being as serious. But when Cooper responded by saying he was worried about the perception of only two white hosts being allowed to drink, Licht reversed course and said no one would be allowed to imbibe.
“Chris made an offhand remark in a town hall about drinking during the NYE program,” an aide said, according to Semafor. “Shortly after, he proactively reached out to Anderson to clarify that his comments were meant as a joke and that he preferred no drinking on air at all.”
One CNN insider said that host Don Lemon was particularly upset about the new rule. And Cohen reportedly plans to ignore Licht’s request, telling correspondents that he “will be partying even harder on their behalf.”
Licht clarified that he thinks it’s important for the network’s anchors to appear serious and credible, not sloppy.
In past years, CNN’s New Year’s Eve program has been known for devolving into drunken hilarity. In 2021, for example, Cohen went on a drunk rant about former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Drunk Andy Cohen going off on Bill de Blasio to kick off 2021 with Anderson Cooper pic.twitter.com/cecbOeWpOq
— Daniel Chaitin (@danielchaitin7) January 1, 2021
During the same New Year’s Eve live event, Lemon went on a wild rant about being a “grown a** man” and not caring what others think of him. He then started twerking with some of the program’s dancers.
Are you this lit yet???
Happy New Year!!! pic.twitter.com/lyx3SRD2W5
— BallerAlert (@balleralert) January 1, 2022
Lemon was recently demoted to co-host a new morning show after hosting his own late night show for years. The change was one of many that Licht made in his effort to de-polarize the network and make it appear less partisan.