Elon Musk cancels X partnership with Don Lemon after interview

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Don Lemon attends The 15th Annual CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute at American Museum of Natural History on December 12, 2021 in New York City.

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Former CNN anchor Don Lemon introduced Wednesday that Elon Musk has canceled a partnership during which Lemon would host a brand new present on X, the social media platform Musk owns.

Lemon said he was knowledgeable of the choice to cancel the deal simply hours after he taped an interview with Musk for the premiere of The Don Lemon Show on March 18.

“We had a good conversation. Clearly he felt differently,” Lemon stated of the interview in an announcement Wednesday. “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.”

“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,” Lemon’s assertion stated.

Musk stated in a submit on X later Wednesday that “instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just 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.” Zucker is the previous president of CNN.

Musk has known as himself a First Amendment and free speech advocate for years. When he took over Twitter, he reinstated accounts that had been completely suspended underneath prior administration, together with that of former President Donald Trump. At the identical time, he has demonstrated little tolerance for his staff’ free speech and has banned or suspended a number of critics on X since taking up the corporate.

Lemon stated his present would proceed regardless of the deal’s cancellation. The interview with Musk can be posted on YouTube and podcast platforms and can nonetheless be revealed on X, Lemon stated.

“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,” the company account for X said in a statement on the positioning. “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.”

Lemon expects to be paid for the partnership with X, based on Allison Gollust, a spokesperson for the previous cable information anchor and the previous chief advertising officer at CNN.

“Don has a deal with X and expects to be paid for it. If we have to go to court we will,” Gollust stated in an announcement to CNBC.

X introduced in January that Lemon would host a present on the platform, along with applications by former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and sports activities commentator Jim Rome. Lemon was fired from CNN final 12 months following sexist on-air feedback and studies he mistreated coworkers.

CNBC reached out to Musk, certainly one of his attorneys, Alex Spiro, and Twitter individually. It stays unclear what, if any, contract had been organized and what the phrases of any partnership had been between X and The Don Lemon Show.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.