Metro Weekly

Elon Musk Cancels Don Lemon’s Show Before It Debuts

Musk did not take kindly to the former CNN host's line of questioning, which included queries about his alleged ketamine use.

cnn, don lemon
Don Lemon — Photo: Fuzheado, via Wikimedia.

Former CNN anchor Don Lemon announced that his new digital show on X was canceled following his interview with the app’s owner, Elon Musk, as part of the show’s inaugural episode.

The Don Lemon Show was set to start streaming on Monday, March 18, on the social media platform. Lemon said that he believed he had a good interaction with Musk, who apparently did not take kindly to the interview.

“We had a good conversation,” Lemon wrote in a statement. “Clearly he 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 claimed Musk informed him of the cancellation a few hours after the interview, which touched upon the upcoming presidential election and Musk’s company SpaceX, as reported by The Washington Post

A corporate account for X confirmed that it ended the deal with Lemon. 

“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,” the company said in a statement.

Writing in his own post, Musk criticized Lemon’s show, writing, “His approach was basically, ‘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.”

Musk then added, “All this said, Lemon/Zucker are of course welcome to build their viewership on this platform along with everyone else.”


Lemon received little sympathy from X users, many of whom accused him of race-baiting or claimed that Musk had never promised Lemon a special deal.

Others mocked Lemon, either criticizing him for having a left-wing bias, or — for those on the political Left — asserting that he never should have trusted Musk to follow through on any verbal promises of support.

“Was the ‘deal’ a set amount of money? Was it a set amount of engagement? What was the ‘deal’ he backed out of? Or did he just say ‘You have my full support to have a show on X’ and you took that as him guaranteeing you would make money? Can you at least explain what the partnership was?” wrote one user.

“Having your show here on x gives you access to the digital town square. You will be able to reach the most people in the largest possible venue. Nothing has been lost. Unless they promised something else that you are not mentioning. I wasn’t aware you had a ‘partnership,'” wrote another.

“You trusted Elon? Lesson learned,” wrote a third user.

SCOOP: As I told him would happen, @donlemon, the owner of this platform, Elon Musk, sent a terse text to his reps: ‘Contract terminated’ after an interview Lemon did with Musk last Friday that was not to the adult toddler’s liking, including questions about his ketamine use,” wrote Kara Swisher, a journalist well-known for her in-depth coverage of society, technology, and Musk.


Lemon had promoted his show on X as a new step in his career following his firing from CNN last year. The termination appeared — but was never confirmed to be — linked to disparaging comments he made about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s age in response to age-based criticisms she made about President Joe Biden’s mental fitness for office.

Soon after his firing, Musk publicly asked Lemon — via a post on X — whether he’d consider hosting a show on the platform. Their “content partnership” was announced earlier this year, although the terms of the agreement, including Lemon’s potential compensation, were never made public.

In the run-up to the show, Lemon echoed oft-repeated talking points about X’s reticence to censor or ban content, stating that the platform is the “biggest space for free speech in the world.”

“I know now more than ever that we need a place for honest debate and discussion without the hall monitors,” he wrote.

On March 13, Lemon claimed that X “made significant commitments” about the support it would offer his show, but again, gave no further details. 

The episode of The Don Lemon Show featuring the interview with Musk will still air next Monday, on X and YouTube. Lemon has said he will continue to produce future episodes on those platforms, according to the Post.

“This does not change anything about the show, except for my relationship with Elon and X,” Lemon said in a video message. “There’s a whole lot that went down, and I’m going to tell you about it in the coming days.”

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