Chris Licht officially exited his position of CEO at CNN on Wednesday morning and, for many online, it was no big surprise. A fairly large swath of folks on Twitter actually dubbed it “karma” for Licht’s firing of CNN anchor Don Lemon.
Licht’s one-year tenure as CEO and Chairman of CNN Worldwide was turbulent from start to finish, with a disastrous Donald Trump town hall and an unflattering profile in The Atlantic finally breaking staff morale. Upon learning that Licht’s exit is effective immediately, Twitter users suspected that Lemon might be off somewhere celebrating the ouster of the man who ousted him in April.
“Somewhere Don Lemon is laughing his ass off about Chris Licht,” one person wrote. “Karma does work.”
Others drew comparisons between Licht and famous TV and movie characters, including Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) from “Succession,” and The Joker.
“Chris Licht talks about having David Zaslav’s support the same way a Gotham City crime boss talks about the Joker right before the room fills with gas,” Mike Drucker joked.
Licht’s exit comes just days after The Atlantic published a devastating profile of the CNN boss, which alleged that he told former President Donald Trump to “have fun” during his May town hall on the network. The event drew wide criticisms for even being scheduled at all, and was largely slammed for offering a large platform for Trump to continue spreading misinformation about the 2020 election and further defame author E. Jean Carroll.
Following The Atlantic’s profile, Licht’s impending exit was widely speculated, so many weren’t surprised come Wednesday morning.
“Happening because: 1. These man-made (always men) disasters have the same playbook over and over 2. Staff in major uproar and now not hiding it — I mean, why should they? 3. Trouble getting far too close to the king (Zaslav),” Kara Swisher wrote, after predicting on Tuesday that Licht’s fate would be announced sooner than later.
You can check out more reactions to Licht’s exit below.