She’s turning lemons into Lemon shade.
Michelle Yeoh appeared to throw shade at CNN host Don Lemon at the 2023 Oscars while accepting her Best Actress award for her role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” Sunday.
“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 dream big, and dreams do come true,” Yeoh, 60, told the audience while making history as the first Asian woman to win in the category.
She then added, “And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”
Many viewers were quick to point out that Yeoh’s remarks may have been a response to Lemon’s sexist comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley being past “her prime” at age 51.
“Was this a jab at @donlemon for his recent comments about women ‘being past their prime’ after their 40’s?” political commentator Stephanie Hamill tweeted.
“I think Michelle Yeoh just called out DonLemon during her #Oscars acceptance speech,” Daily Beast senior editor Matt Wilstein agreed.
“Michelle Yeoh coming for Don Lemon was not on my #Oscar bingo card 😂,” Bernie Sanders’ former press secretary Briahna Joy Gray joked.
“Nice sly dig at Don Lemon’s ‘past your prime’ line, #MichelleYeoh!!! #Oscar2023,” Bloomberg Opinion columnist Robert A. George added.
However, others weren’t completely convinced that Yeoh’s comments were directed at Lemon, 57, instead speculating that they were simply words of inspiration coming from a woman who earned her first Oscar later in life.
“No. I seriously doubt she was thinking of Don Lemon on one of the most important nights of her life,” one netizen tweeted. “Hollywood is notorious for setting ridiculous expiration dates on women’s careers. She’s proof it’s all nonsense. Women from all walks of life regularly face age discrimination.”
“Ohhhh, I thought it was towards Hollywood in general but I can see the Lemon angle,” another wrote.
“I think that speech was for any woman who heard ‘no’ after 40 in Hollywood,” a third fan agreed.
Get more of Page Six’s Oscars 2023 coverage
Lemon found himself in hot water in February when he said on “CNN This Morning” that “a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
When his co-anchor Poppy Harlow pressed him, asking whether he was referring to “childbearing” or “being president,” Lemon held his stance.
“If you Google, ‘When is a woman in her prime?’ it’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s,” he retorted. “I’m not saying I agree with that, so I think [Haley] has to be careful about saying that [politicians aren’t in their prime].”
Lemon’s on-air words caused Harlow, 40, to storm off set and angered his co-workers and many viewers. He later offered a rambling apology to his staff, saying in part, “The people I am closest to in this organization are women.
“The people I seek counsel to first in this organization are women. The person I am closest to is my mother, a woman.”
The journalist took a brief hiatus from his show amid the uproar but was back on the air days later when he tweeted out another apology to the public.
“I appreciate the opportunity to be back on @CNNThisMorning today,” he wrote. “To my network, my colleagues and our incredible audience — I’m sorry.
“I’ve heard you, I’m learning from you, and I’m committed to doing better. See you soon.”
While Yeoh’s words on ageism in Hollywood used the same verbiage as Lemon’s controversial comments, she has been spreading the same message for some time now.
“I turned 60 last year, and I think all of you women understand this: As the days, the years and the numbers get bigger, it seems like opportunities start to get smaller as well,” she said during her Golden Globes acceptance speech in January.
And while taking home a trophy at the 2023 SAG Awards last month, she told the crowd, “I think if I speak, my heart will explode. SAG-AFTRA, to get this from you, who understand what it is to get here, every one of you know the journey, the roller-coaster ride, the ups and downs, but, most important, we never give up.”
Yeoh has also been outspoken about the importance of diversity in Hollywood and has celebrated being an Asian woman as she takes home multiple awards.
Reps for Yeoh and Lemon did not immediately respond to Page Six’s requests for comment.
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