Did CNN punish a comedian for making some jokes? Larry Wilmore properly rocked the nation when he hosted President Barack Obama's final White House Correspondents' Dinner last month, sparking controversy and generating laughs at the expense of many of the journalists in attendance. One target of Wilmore's spirited comments was none other than Don Lemon, renown CNN Tonight host and lit NYE correspondent.
"Hey Don, how's it going?" Wilmore asked during his speech, which included more than a few CNN jabs. "Alleged journalist Don Lemon, everybody." Though Lemon's immediate response was a certain finger gesture, the two were clearly both in on the joke with no apparent animosity brewing:
However, according to a report from Mediaite, someone at CNN wasn't really feeling Wilmore's jokes. Lemon allegedly "personally invited" Wilmore to stop by his show the evening of Wednesday, May 4 to talk about politics and his controversial use of the N-word during his WHCD speech. That appearance was reportedly "abruptly canceled" by an unnamed CNN producer using the excuse of focusing on the Indiana primary, despite the fact that it had ended a full 24 hours before Wilmore was scheduled to appear. The Nightly Show host's appearance was never rescheduled.
Wilmore's speech was a hot topic of discussion on news programs across pretty much every imaginable network at the time, meaning his appearance on Lemon's CNN Tonight boasted some serious ratings potential. Why (allegedly) botch it just to score some bonus petty points? Hopefully Wilmore can clear all of this up by keeping it extra 100 on a future episode of Nightly Show.
CNN and Comedy Central did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.