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Elon Musk cancels X partnership with former CNN anchor Don Lemon after interview

Don Lemon, a former CNN anchor, reported Wednesday that Elon Musk has canceled a deal in which Lemon was set to broadcast a new show on X, Musk’s social media platform.

Lemon stated that he was told of the decision to abandon the arrangement just hours after filming an interview with Musk for The Don Lemon Show’s March 18 premiere.

“We had a good conversation.” “Clearly, he felt differently,” Lemon said about the interview in a statement 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 said in a statement.

Musk stated in a post on X later Wednesday that “instead of being the real Don Lemon, it was really just Jeff Zucker talking through Don, so it lacked authenticity.” All that being said, Lemon/Zucker are welcome to increase their viewership on this platform alongside everyone else.” Zucker was the former president of CNN.

Musk has referred to himself as a First Amendment and free speech advocate for many years. When he took over Twitter, he reinstated accounts that had been permanently suspended under previous management, including those of former President Donald Trump. At the same time, he has shown minimal tolerance for his workers’ free expression, banning or suspending multiple critics of X since taking over the company.

Lemon stated that his show would continue regardless of the cancellation. Lemon stated that the interview with Musk will be made available on YouTube and podcast sites, as well as on X.

“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’s corporate account wrote in a statement on the site. “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 compensated for his work with X, according to Allison Gollust, a representative for the former cable news anchor and CNN chief marketing officer.

“Don made a deal with X and expects to be compensated for it. “If we have to go to court, we will,” Gollust told CNBC.

In January, X revealed that Lemon would host a show on the platform, with former US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and sports journalist Jim Rome. Lemon was dismissed from CNN last year for making sexist statements on air and mistreating subordinates, according to sources.

CNBC contacted Musk, one of his attorneys, Alex Spiro, and Twitter individually. It is unknown whether a contract was arranged or what the conditions of any cooperation between X and The Don Lemon Show were.

Lora Kolodny of CNBC contributed to this report.



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