CNN's Don Lemon Defends Samuel L Jackson Mix-Up: ‘People Do Look Alike!’ (Video)

CNN's Don Lemon Defends Samuel L Jackson Mix-Up: 'People Do Look Alike!' (Video)

The CNN anchor argued Tuesday that people of the same race tend to share similar features, but the reporter still should've known Samuel L. Jackson

CNN's Don Lemon stood up for KTLA reporter Sam Rubin who mixed up Samuel L. Jackson with Laurence Fishburne and explained that people would often mistake him for former CNN anchor TJ Holmes — and he even almost had Holmes pretend to be him for the segment.

“People all the time say to me, you look just like Don Lemon, and I would go, I hear that all the time!” Lemon said on “Outfront with Erin Burnett” Tuesday evening, “And after a moment I would go, I am Don Lemon!”

Also read: Samuel L. Jackson Slams KTLA Reporter Sam Rubin, Who Mistook Him for Laurence Fishburne (Video)

“When someone is in our tribe, I think it's particularly easier for us to tell them apart, because we're used to their facial features,” Lemon explained, “Let's be honest, I'm probably going to get in trouble here –people do look alike! There are features that African Americans have that are similar! There are features that white people have that are similar! Features that Hispanic people have that are similar!”

Also read: Samuel L. Jackson's KTLA Rubin Flap: 5 of the Actor's Awkward Media Moments (Video)

“It's true! I have Asian friends and they know every single distinction,” Burnett added.

“It's not about race,” Lemon said. “You go to Brooklyn, everybody's got a beard and plaid shirt. They may be able to tell each other part but they all look alike to me.”

Burnett revealed that people all the time say she looks like Emily Deschanel.

Despite his thesis that people of similar races look alike, he thought it should have been obvious who Rubin was interviewing.

“Someone's who's made over 70 movies, you probably should know their name by now,” Lemon said.

“Yes you should!” Burnett agreed.

“Sam Rubin is a great reporter too,” Lemon added.

Watch Lemon's interview with Burnett below:

  • Tosh

    Don has a point. Take for example, Sarah Jessica Parker. She looks exactly like… Ruth Buzzi… Scary isn't it?

    • adam


    • Marv


  • adam

    Don Lemon actually does look like someone.

    Don Lemon looks like a weak, dissembling, pandering, unimportant, apologetic jerk pretending to be a journalist.

    Don Lemon is obviously the latest fathead minority clown hired for the express purpose of giving a network a ready mouthpiece to be used at a moment's notice to make excuses for other idiots, losers, tactless prejudiced dunces and associated fellow travelers.

    What this Don Lemon, who looks like a guy who looks like a guy who wants to be a journalist when he grows up, should do is go home and suck off his boyfriend and shut the heck up [which, if he were sucking off his boyfriend, he would be able to do quite nicely].

    Bloody mealy-mouthed nitwit!

    • Concerned Reader

      wow guy how mad are you? you have some issues you might need to work through, I suggest calling 911. they should be able to help you after you put that bullet in your head.

    • T—

      Jeez… and who are you exactly… you might ant to lose the personal insults and accompanying diatribe… it's an insight into your innate intelligence… no one takes a troll seriously any more… they just have fun with them… :-))

      • Concerned Reader

        No one takes them seriously, but it seems you took enough time to type out that reply. Thank You for your humor, it made me laugh.

    • frank cannon

      “tactless prejudiced dunce”…

  • Blah

    This Don Lemon guy is inarticulate…also, the media has too much time on its hands…that incident wasn't that big of a deal and the guy graciously apologized..what do they want from him, blood?

  • BlackPegasus

    Don Lemon has a good point. I'm Black and I've had some difficulty recognizing some of my white colleagues when they change identifying markers about themselves such as hair, makeup and hats. But I still blame the reporter for his incompetency. He of all people is suppose to know better. Samuel L. Jackson had every right to be upset at the reporter.

  • A.L. Hern

    Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown.

  • Matthew2414

    I agree with Don. And I'll take it a step further … I'm white, and I confuse certain white celebrities. I used to confuse Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman. I'm not the only one, just Google it. I still confuse Tom Sizemore and Michael Madsen. So it's not necessarily a race thing. However, you would think the entertainment reporter should know better. Also, I love Samuel L. Jackson, but his reaction could be interpreted as a bit racist; calling someone racist when they may not be is a form of racism.

    • danica_stone

      No. Calling someone racist when they may not be is not a form of racism. Because racists are not a race.

    • Julia Oceania

      No, calling someone's behavior racist is not racist. SLJ did not call the man a racist. He called acting like all black people look alike racist, and it is. And being a racist isn't a race…

      • Matthew2414

        I did not say SLJ was a racist. I said his actions could be interpreted as racist. Just because a person is a minority doesn't mean he/she cannot be racist. One definition of racism is to be “intolerant of other races.” To constantly accuse other people of other races of racism when there is none, is being intolerant of people of that race. Like I said, I'm white, But I would be flattered to be called Samuel L. Jackson or Laurence Fishburne. On the other hand, maybe SLJ was tired of being confused with LF … or maybe he was just trying to make a point. Either way, it was free publicity for SLJ and even the reporter who was unknown by most people until this week. Maybe this will further their careers, or in the very least, help the reporter prepare better for his televised interviews.

        • Julia Oceania

          Seriously, you are reading things into my comment that I did not write. I did not write that people in a minority group cannot be racist. What I said is that being a racist is predicated on race… You can be bigoted towards people and not be a racist. You can hate women or homosexuals or children or people with disabilities, but that doesn't make you a racist… it makes you a bigot.

          And it is common from people outside of a certain ethnic group to have trouble seeing differences between people of another group. The fact that some white people think that all black people look alike is because they do not know enough black people to distinguish between them. So when I see someone that has trouble telling individuals of a particular group apart.. or even more tellingly thinks Japanese people look just like Chinese people, I think that those people need to broaden their horizons and quit looking at people that look just like them

          • Robert James

            You right Julia.white folks always has problem to identify black folks.I was jumping all over my tv set with joy when Samuel L. Jackson was speaking his mind out about this. WE NEEDS MORE SAMUELS ON THOSE PANNELS. Period.

        • Pam

          Samuel called out ONE individual and he never called them a racist, so I don't understand how his actions can in any way, shape, or form be interpreted as racist.

          On another note, accusing someone of racism is NOT racism! It's not discriminating against them because of their race. It's saying that you perceive them to have unfounded prejudices against people of other races.

          Please do not water down the term racism so much that it doesn't mean anything anymore.

          Finally, your statement that you're white and would be flattered to be called Samuel L. Jackson or Laurence Fishburne is completely irrelevant to the controversy.

          • MichaelS

            Out of curiosity: Do you know what it means to set up a straw man when debating?

          • Pam

            I am familiar with the straw man argument, and I believe that I addressed specific points you made very directly, so I don't agree with what you're implying about my reply.

  • hupto

    Ever watch “The Today Show?” I couldn't tell Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales apart with a gun to my head!

  • Bleus Bleu


  • Ellie

    if you are interviewing someone it should behoove you to know with whom you are speaking.

  • Michael Difani

    Some have said I resemble a cross between actor Michael Douglas and comic Robin Williams…not bad, just as long as I don't come across as manic or as hairy as Williams. He's 12 yrs. younger also. As for actresses, how about Amy Adams and Isla Fisher….they could be sisters.

  • Sedrick Roeshard Gilbert

    “When someone is in our tribe…” Lemon says. TRIBE? What is he talking about? The opening minutes of ROOTS? He started to have T.J. Holmes to pretend to be him for the segment? The problem with that is that I don't believe T.J. Holmes would even agree to such a thing. Lemon loves the spotlight, and he focuses more on making himself the story than reporting the news. Is this yet another attempt to get the attention of what seems to be his dream gig: FOX News? Lemon is nothing but full of hot air…and himself.

  • CNU

    In the reporter's defense I use to confuse Fishburne and Jackson, but that was 15 years ago, before Fishburne Played Morpheus and Jackson played Mace Windu and they moved up in terms of popularity and notoriety.

  • Mary D

    Rubin obviously did not do his homework! Wasn't he aware who he was interviewing? Rubin should have double checked his facts before he interviewed Samuel Jackson.

  • Julia Oceania

    I got Toby Macguire confused with Jake Gyllenhaal.. and they do not really resemble each other… I do not even know how I confused them….but it happens. At the same time, if you are going to interview someone, you should really know who you are talking to or you look like a horse's hiney


    Don. Stop.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    The reporter is an idiot like Nanci Pilosi.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    We had a good economy in the 90's
    because Clinton was forced to balance a budget by Newt Gingrich and the
    Republicans. Obama refuses to do so with Harry Reid. There was no socialized
    health care in the 90s, there is now. That is 2 reasons why the 90s are good
    and the teens, the present time, are not good. Do you understand this simple

    There was not any Dodd/Frank or
    Sarbanes Oxley (2 major regulations that are killing jobs) in the 90s. The EPA
    is far more powerful in their job killing abilities now than they were in the
    90s. The point is, Obama cannot obtain or recreate the Clinton economy until he
    is ready to eliminate Obamacare, dump the Dodd/Frank rule which is killing
    small business, and ditch Sarbanes Oxley. Obama would not do this in 300 years.
    Obama does not care about improving the economy, he wants to make more people
    dependent on the government to survive. If Obama wanted to improve the economy
    he would have called up Steve Forbes.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    There are jobs in Texas and Florida
    and not in California or any other state ran by liberals. Why? It really is not
    that hard to figure out. High taxes and excessive regulations are job killers.
    If you care about prosperity or job creation, voting liberal does not make any
    sense. Societies with lower taxes, and this is proven throughout the ages, that
    levy lower taxes thrive; societies that levy high taxes and regulations kill
    jobs and opportunity for their people. This is why the Sarbanes Oxley, EPA
    rules, Dodd/Frank, our ridiculous tax code, Obamacare, all have to be curtailed
    or cut back. If not, you will have a pathetic economy like we do now. Good job
    Texas and other conservative states for leading the way. California, Illinois,
    New York, you deserve to crumble and you are because you continue to vote into
    office clueless job killing politicians.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    11. Government's
    view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves,
    tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving,
    subsidize it. –Ronald Reagan (1986)

  • Ivan B. Cohen

    People may resemble each other but the episode with Samuel Jackson indicates that the reporter did sloppy research or no research at all. Even I can distinguish Ted Koppel from Sean Hannity. Who is going to stand up for Don Lemon when he won't be mistaken for T.J. Holmes next time? And is Don going to be as gracious about the mix-up?

  • hendersonc

    Don is right he looks just like Ru Paul.