Don Lemon was taken to task Monday on Twitter after he held up a sign displaying the N-word uncensored on “CNN Tonight.”
The cable news anchor opened his show in the most direct — and many think offensive — way possible by addressing the racial outcry following the shooting deaths of nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.
“This is what America is talking about right now,” Lemon said, while holding up a Confederate flag. “Does this offend you? It is a Confederate flag. Is it a symbol of Southern pride or a symbol of hate?”
He then proceeded to hold up a sign saying the N-word — spelled out fully — and asked: “What about this… does this offend you? President Obama said it out loud in an interview and a lot of people are shocked.”
The reaction to Lemon’s behavior was swift. The CNN host immediately became a trending topic on Twitter and the response was overwhelmingly negative.
Read a sampling of the reaction below.
What a shame, Don Lemon. Why would you minimize an issue of such dire importance with a "stunt". Why usurp the genuine momentum?Sad @Cnn !
— Deborah NYC (@DebsWorldNY) June 23, 2015
smh CNN got don lemon out here looking like a supreme coon
— William B. Rosewood (@Willtothe) June 23, 2015
when life gives you don lemon, make lemonade. the refreshing beverage that reminds you we're alive in this garbage world
— coffee liz (@coffee_liz) June 23, 2015
It’s clear that CNN has become more interested in the controversy Don Lemon garners than in his integrity as a news man.
— Amanda Seales (@amandaseales) June 23, 2015
Don Lemon is the Walter Cronkite of trolling.
— JasFly (@JasFly) June 23, 2015
Don Lemon is the worst Tyler Perry character on CNN.
— Isloated Teen Mom (@smapd) June 23, 2015
What the damn hell, Don Lemon? I can't even.
— Margie Housley (@margiehousley) June 23, 2015
— Annie Lawton (@CurlynDoris) June 23, 2015
Don Lemon = Uncle Tom
— Sydni Jones (@SlimFast_) June 23, 2015
Don Lemon is the type of house negro who would tell the slave owner that field negroes were planning a revolt.
— B (@BlakeDontCrack) June 23, 2015
American Horror Story: Don Lemon
— SHON (@brownlashon) June 23, 2015
don. my man. nine people got shot dead in a church in a state that flies the confederate flag. this ain’t the time. pic.twitter.com/iTvEuFVM6P
— america (@greghoward88) June 23, 2015