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Michelle Yeoh wins top Academy Award, then uses speech to dunk on CNN’s Don Lemon: ‘Don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime’

Actress Michelle Yeoh appeared to take a shot at CNN anchor Don Lemon on Sunday when she accepted her Academy Award for best actress.

Yeoh won the Oscar for her lead role in the popular film “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” making history as the first Asian woman to win the Academy Award for best actress. And in her acceptance speech, Yeoh wanted everyone to know that her age clearly did not hold her back from an exceptional performance.

“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof that dreams do come true,” Yeoh said in a speech after accepting the award.

“And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime,” she added. “Never give up.”

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The comment about being “past your prime” was widely believed to invoke Lemon’s now-infamous comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

Responding to Haley’s idea that politicians need to undergo cognitive testing once they reach the age of 75, Lemon condemned the idea by invoking Haley’s age. At 51 years old, Lemon said, Haley is past her “prime.”

“Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s,” Lemon said.

When Poppy Harlow, Lemon’s co-anchor, challenged him, Lemon responded, “I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it.”

The remarks triggered bipartisan backlash against Lemon, who was noticeably absent from “CNN This Morning,” the show he co-hosts with two women, for several days. Lemon later offered CNN employees an apology and agreed to participate in “formal training.”

Before returning to CNN’s airwaves, Lemon tweeted another apology. He did not, however, issue a public apology to Haley.

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