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Elon Musk kills Don Lemon’s new X present earlier than it ever started

X has canceled a high-profile partnership with former CNN host Don Lemon to stream a video discuss present on the platform. Lemon stated that the corporate canceled his contract hours after he interviewed X’s billionaire proprietor Elon Musk for the primary episode of “The Don Lemon Present,” which was scheduled to stream on the platform this Monday.

“Elon Musk is mad at me,” Lemon stated in a video posted to X on Wednesday. “Apparently, free speech absolutism doesn’t apply with regards to questions on him from individuals like me.”

Lemon’s announcement got here a day after firm CEO Linda Yaccarino declared that X was changing into a “video first” platform. It introduced the partnership with Lemon in January as half of a bigger technique to stream extra unique content material on the service. This included putting offers with former consultant Tulsi Gabbard and sports activities radio commentator Jim Rome to stream their very own exhibits on the platform. Final yr, X reportedly made an analogous cope with Tucker Carlson after he was fired from his internet hosting duties at Fox Information. X’s choice to cancel Lemon’s present raises questions in regards to the firm’s technique.

“The Don Lemon Present is welcome to publish its content material on X, with out censorship, as we imagine in offering a platform for creators to scale their work and join with new communities,” X stated in an announcement. “Nonetheless, like several enterprise, we reserve the proper to make choices about our enterprise partnerships, and after cautious consideration, X determined to not enter right into a business partnership with the present.”

Lemon stated that he’ll now stream the primary episode of “The Don Lemon Present” on X, YouTube and different podcast platforms, and is getting ready for a authorized combat in case X refuses what’s reportedly a multi-million greenback payout. “Don has a cope with X and he expects to be paid for it,” a spokesperson for Lemon informed Selection. “If we now have to go to court docket, we’ll.” Nonetheless, two nameless sources claimed to Semafor that Lemon might not have truly signed a contract with X. Musk has a historical past of withholding funds. A bunch of former Twitter executives together with the corporate’s ex-CEO Parag Agrawal are suing Musk and X over tens of millions of {dollars} in unpaid severance advantages.

Lemon’s interview with Musk, which was recorded on Friday, spanned a variety of matters together with the presidential election, and, reportedly, the billionaire’s alleged ketamine use, the topic of a Wall Avenue Journal story revealed earlier this yr. “Hardcore questions have been requested,” Lemon informed an X person. In a written assertion, Lemon stated that he had a “good dialog” with Musk, however the billionaire clearly didn’t appear to suppose so.

Musk wrote that Lemon’s method was “mainly simply ‘CNN, however on social media’, which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the truth that CNN is dying,” in response to a person asking X about particular causes for terminating the partnership with Lemon. “And, as a substitute of it being the true Don Lemon,” Musk sniped, “it was actually simply [former CNN President] Jeff Zucker speaking via Don, so lacked authenticity.”

Lemon was fired from CNN practically a yr in the past after making on-air remarks towards former Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley that many thought-about sexist and ageist, in addition to experiences exhibiting he engaged in misogynistic conduct over his 15-year tenure at CNN.

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