Advertisement

Don Lemon Says His Talk Show Deal with X Was Canceled After Tense Interview with Elon Musk: 'He's Mad at Me'

"The Don Lemon" show is still set to debut on Monday — albeit without X's blessing — and will feature the conversation with Musk as planned

<p>Gilbert Flores/Billboard via Getty; Chesnot/Getty </p> Don Lemon and Elon Musk

Gilbert Flores/Billboard via Getty; Chesnot/Getty

Don Lemon and Elon Musk

Don Lemon says his talk show deal with social media platform X is on the rocks after he asked Elon Musk tough questions during a pre-recorded interview, which is set to premiere during The Don Lemon Show's first episode on Monday.

The former CNN anchor, who was ousted from the network nearly a year ago, announced earlier this year that he had partnered with Musk to create a show that would facilitate "honest debate and discussion without the hall monitors."

But on Wednesday — just days ahead of the show's debut on X — Lemon revealed that Musk decided to back out of the deal at the last minute, reneging his "commitment to amplifying more diverse voices on their platform," according to the journalist.

Related: Don Lemon Announces New Show for 'Debate and Discussion,' Set to Debut on Social Media Site X

"Hi everyone, Elon Musk is mad at me," Lemon said in a video posted on social media Wednesday, where he explained that the X deal was off, and that Musk's commitment to "free speech absolutism" didn't seem to apply after the tech mogul himself was put in the hot seat.

Still, Lemon said in the video, he will move forward with The Don Lemon Show, posting episodes to YouTube, X and everywhere you can find podcasts. He also assured that his interview with Musk would still air on Monday as planned, noting that the only part of his show that will be changing is "my relationship to Musk and X."

In a written statement also released on Wednesday, Lemon elaborated on his disappointment with Musk for walking away from the deal.

"[Musk] informed me of his decision hours after an interview I conducted with him on Friday," Lemon said in the statement, explaining, "There were no restrictions on the interview that he willingly agreed to, and my questions were respectful and wide ranging, covering everything from SpaceX to the presidential election."

"We had good conversation," Lemon continued. "Clearly he felt differently. His commitment to a global town square where all questions can be asked and all ideas can be shared seems to not include questions of him from people like me."

Also in the statement, Lemon said that the reason he wanted to work with a controversial person like Musk in the first place is that he believed it would help his work reach the largest number of people.

He claimed that Musk promised his "full support" for The Don Lemon Show, saying, "I took Elon and his management team's word that they, for the first time, were interested in working directly with new and diverse voices."

<p>Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)</p> Don Lemon attends a film screening at the IFC Center in New York City on May 11, 2023

Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Don Lemon attends a film screening at the IFC Center in New York City on May 11, 2023

Lemon first announced his new talk show in January, at the time writing, "I've heard you... and today I am back bigger, bolder, freer! My new media company's first project is The Don Lemon Show. It will be available to everyone, easily, whenever and wherever you want it, streaming on the platforms where the conversations are happening."

Lemon said that he had reached a "content partnership" with X, meaning the 30-minute episodes would air on Musk's social media site before reaching other platforms. "I know now more than ever that we need a place for honest debate and discussion without the hall monitors," Lemon wrote. "This is just the beginning so stay tuned."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

That same day, X confirmed news of the deal in a statement, which read, "We’re delighted to announce a new content partnership with @DonLemon for his new project, The Don Lemon Show. The award winning TV journalist will share his unique and honest voice in 30 minute episodes, three times a week, covering politics, culture, sports and entertainment. The show will run exclusively first on X. Welcome Don!"

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.