Don Lemon in front of white HBO background

Debby Wong/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Elon Musk kills Don Lemon’s deal with X—after filming interview with him for show’s debut

Lemon reportedly asked him questions about his alleged ketamine usage.


Marlon Ettinger


Posted on Mar 13, 2024   Updated on Mar 13, 2024, 4:11 pm CDT

Nine months after offering ex-CNN anchor Don Lemon a platform on X—part of a push to bring traditional cable stars to the platform to produce long-form video content—and days before Lemon’s show was set to launch, Musk canceled Lemon’s show after an interview for the premiere episode didn’t go the way the X owner wanted it to.

“Elon Musk has canceled the partnership I had with X, which they announced as a part of their public commitment to amplifying more diverse voices on their platforms,” Lemon said in a statement. “He informed me of his decision hours after an interview I conducted with him on Friday.”

According to tech reporter Kara Swisher, Lemon’s show was canceled by a two-word text to Lemon’s representatives: “Contract terminated.”

According to Swisher, Musk didn’t like the questions Lemon asked him, including about his reported Ketamine use.

According to a January 2024 report in the Wall Street Journal, executives and board members at Tesla and SpaceX worried about Musk’s use of illegal drugs like LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, mushrooms, and ketamine. Musk has acknowledged having a ketamine prescription, but according to the WSJ report he also uses the drug recreationally.

“People close to Musk, who is now 52, said his drug use is ongoing, especially his consumption of ketamine, and that they are concerned it could cause a health crisis,” the WSJ reported. “Even if it doesn’t, it could damage his businesses.”

“X is a platform that champions free speech, and we’re proud to provide an open environment for diverse voices and perspectives. The Don Lemon Show is welcome to publish its content on X, without censorship, as we believe in providing a platform for creators to scale their work and connect with new communities,” @XBusiness said in a statement. “However, 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.”

“Elon Musk is mad at me,” Lemon said in a video he released after posting the statement. 

“There is a whole lot that went down, and I’m going to tell you about it in the coming days,” he elaborated, promising that the interview with Musk would still be in the first episode of his new show, which is coming out on Monday, Mar. 18 on YouTube—and X.

Musk, meanwhile, accused Lemon of bringing a “CNN, but on social media” sensibility to the show in a post on X.

“Instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just [former CNN President] Jeff Zucker talking through Don, so lacked authenticity.”

A spokeswoman for Lemon told the New York Times that he’d still be seeking payment from X despite the show being canceled.

“Don has a deal with X and expects to be paid for it,” she told the newspaper. “If we have to go to court, we will.”

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 13, 2024, 4:06 pm CDT