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Explaining the CHAOTIC MESS happening between Don Lemon & Elon Musk

Explaining the CHAOTIC MESS happening between Don Lemon & Elon Musk

Don Lemon; Elon Musk

If you’re wondering what the heck is going on between former CNN anchor Don Lemon and X/Twitter owner Elon Musk, here’s all the tea you need to know.


So many questions… but we have a lot of answers!

Don Lemon, who worked for CNN since 2006, was fired on Apr. 2023 following public scrutiny over his on-air remarks about women, as reported by The New York Times. On Jan. 9, 2024, X was “delighted” to announce that they were partnering up with Lemon for a new show that would be available for streaming exclusively on X. The new project even had a title, The Don Lemon Show.

“We’re delighted to announce a new content partnership with Don Lemon for his new project, The Don Lemon Show,” the original announcement from @XBusiness read. “The award-winning TV journalist will share his unique and honest voice in 30-minute episodes, three times a week, covering politics, culture, sports, and entertainment. The show will run exclusively first on X. Welcome Don!”

But flip-floppers will flip-flop, particularly when it comes to a billionaire troll like Elon Musk who’s been aligning himself more and more with conservative pundits. From the very beginning, it felt weird that Musk was going to collaborate with a Black gay man who worked for decades as a journalist for CNN. And just like that, it seems like this realization dawned on Musk, who abruptly canceled Lemon’s show this 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,” Lemon wrote in an X post on Mar. 13. “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.” For context, the project will now be available on YouTube and audio streaming services.

Lemon continued, “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.”

The statement also noted that Lemon had “no restrictions on the interview that [Musk] willingly agreed to,” claiming that he only asked Musk respectful questions about SpaceX and the 2024 presidential elections. But while Lemon felt like they had a good interview, he believes that Musk 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,” Lemon added.

In a subsequent video also shared on X, Lemon further explained that The Don Lemon Show didn’t undergo any changes following its cancelation from X. The project will still be exactly the same, but now available on all platforms and not exclusively on X as originally planned.

In a particularly shady moment in the video, Lemon highlighted that his upcoming interview with Musk will air on YouTube, on podcast platforms, and also on X, insinuating that this supposedly damning interview will also be shared on the platform owned by Musk.

X clapped back at Lemon’s statements in a lengthy statement shared via @XBusiness. “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 post read. “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.”

If you think the shadiness ends there… oh, it does not! None other than Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg dusted off his X account and replied directly to the @XBusiness statement about canceling The Don Lemon Show. “Any specific reasons?” Zuckerberg asked in the replies.

Musk replied to Zuckerberg directly, writing: “His 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 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.”

The mess keeps getting messier. Musk is literally grasping at straws as he tries to champion free speech but continuously censors and/or deplatforms individuals who question him or go against his own worldview.

The billionaire is having to stretch further than ever before with his mental gymnastics… and though Lemon has had his fair share of controversies and accusations surrounding misogyny, this feels like another case of Musk making business decisions based on his personal grievances.

Yet again, Musk-owned X is proving itself to be a place for free speech among conservative pundits spewing hate discourse about women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. But if you’re part of a marginalized group, your speech is limited to Musk’s opinions and conclusions of what you’re saying.

Imagine how exhausted we are.

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Bernardo Sim


Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.