Don Lemon may have held up a sign on the air with the N-word on it – but social media has taken the baton from him and run away with it.
Lemon’s controversial sign recently became the primary target of internet memes that have been circulating online since he first flashed the sign on CNN Monday night.
By holding up a black sign with the word “N***er” printed in white letters, the 49-year-old news anchor was apparently trying to spark a discussion on the criticism of President Obama’s recent use of the racial slur during a podcast interview.
With the theme of “Does This Offend You?”, Lemon first held up a Confederate flag in front of the camera followed by the N-word sign.
— CNN Commentary (@CommentaryCNN) June 23, 2015
It did not take very long for Twitter users to respond with a growing list of internet memes mocking and spoofing Don Lemon’s original N-word sign with the same theme of “Does This Offend You?” Some people aimed for pop culture and entertainment references.
The best Don Lemon “Does this offend you?” meme i’ve seen – until someone photoshops Jeff Zucker in… pic.twitter.com/H5gCDkdME8
— Robby Delaware (@RobbyDelaware) June 23, 2015
idk who did this but it’s clear that it’s time for bed hahahahahaha. can someone plz go get don lemon. pic.twitter.com/CKdvO4441p
— Harry Thotter (@milaubro) June 23, 2015
Some decided to focus the sign on a sports-related issue or debate – including Stephen Curry’s pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
— Anthony Osei (@illionaire) June 23, 2015
*emerges from deep trance where i commune with the spirit world* I know what to shop onto the don lemon sign pic.twitter.com/LKn7Xl8ZJM
— cam (@Cam_Oflage) June 23, 2015
Others decided to tweak Don Lemon’s N-word sign in order to directly mock the CNN news anchor himself.
Best Don Lemon meme pic.twitter.com/ahw8SvW21S
— poeticsocialjustice (@wonder_womanist) June 23, 2015
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) June 23, 2015
There is even a meme circulating online that simply has Don Lemon holding up a picture of fried chicken.
..and the memes start. Oh, don lemon. pic.twitter.com/kpNYdejEd1
— asshole. (@RemiBLANCO) June 23, 2015
Earlier on Monday, Don expressed his belief that journalists should be allowed to use the N-word as long as it is “relevant” to the story. However, he held up the sign to get viewers to weigh in on the topic.
With the negative backlash and mocking memes that have emerged since he flashed the sign on the air, it’s apparently clear that Don Lemon may have gotten a bigger reaction than he expected.
[Image Credit: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images]