Don Lemon Slammed After Calling Kanye West ‘Minstrel Show’ and Invoking Dead Mother

“This was an embarrassment, Kanye’s mother is rolling over in her grave,” says Lemon on “The Situation Room” Thursday

Don Lemon

CNN host Don Lemon took heat on Thursday and Friday after doubling down on his show’s criticism of rapper Kanye West. On Thursday evening, Lemon said West’s Oval Office meeting with President Trump reminded him of a “minstrel show” and brought up West’s dead mother to make his point.

“What I saw was a Minstrel show today,” Lemon said making an unusual appearance on “The Situation Room.” “This was an embarrassment, Kanye’s mother is rolling over in her grave.”

West’s mother, Donda West, died in 2007 after botched cosmetic surgery.

“The president of the United States [is] exploiting him and I don’t mean this in a disparaging way, exploiting someone who needs help, who needs to back away from the cameras, who needs to get off stage, who needs to deal with his issues,” Lemon continued. “Kanye needs help.”

The invocation of West’s mother was too much for many, who subsequently ripped Lemon for his commentary.

“As someone whose mom died early, this really pisses me off. Saying Kanye’s late mom is ‘rolling over in her grave,’ is about as low as you can possibly go when trying to hurt someone. I don’t understand what CNN is doing,” said Fox News media reporter Brian Flood in a tweet.

Others, including Geraldo Rivera and James Woods, also voiced their displeasure with Lemon’s comments.

Lemon raised ire earlier this week after a panel on his show made fun of West when Bakari Sellers accused West of being a “negro” who didn’t read and CNN contributor Tara Setmayer said he was a “token negro.”

“He’s an attention whore, like the president. He’s all of a sudden now the model spokesperson. He’s the token negro of the Trump administration,” she said.

“This is ridiculous and no one should be taking Kanye West seriously. He clearly has issues. He’s already been hospitalized,” Setmayer continued. “Not to trivialize mental health issues, [but] obviously Kanye has taken a turn in a very strange way.”

CNN did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TheWrap.