Following Queen Elizabeth II's funeral on Monday, CNN host Don Lemon suggested the United Kingdom should pay reparations for colonialism—a claim quickly rebutted by royal commentator Hilary Fordwich.
"Where was the beginning of the [slave] supply chain? That was in Africa," said Fordwich. "Which was the first nation in the world that abolished slavery? … The British."
"Two thousand naval men died on the high seas trying to stop slavery," the commentator added. "If reparations need to be paid, we need to go right back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, ‘Who was rounding up their own people and having them handcuffed in cages?'"
The exchange comes just days after CNN announced Lemon will relinquish his solo primetime show, Don Lemon Tonight, to help helm the network's struggling morning news show. Many media observers called the move a demotion—eliciting a stern response from the marquee CNN anchor.
"I was not demoted," Lemon said on his show Thursday.