As Hurricane Irma’s intense winds and rains barreled into Florida early Monday, CNN’s Sara Sidner was reporting live from Daytona Beach. But her disaster coverage took a surprising turn when CNN anchor Don Lemon decided to infuse a bit of body positivity into the segment.
While standing outside during the then–Category 2 storm, Sidner reported, “What we’re also seeing is a lot of projectiles, you’ve been hearing from everyone, that’s the danger here. The things that cover the lights are flying around. The tops of trash cans flying around. And this wind — I am not a small woman, as you know, Don. I am a chunky girl, and it is blowing me around when the gusts come really, really hard.”
Sidner went on to explain that the wind is “nothing to play around with” and encouraged viewers to stay indoors. “This is an incredibly strong storm, and we are … about 225 miles from the eye of the storm. So we’re nowhere near the eye and yet, we are seeing these incredible winds. We’re also on the east coast, while the storm’s eye is on the west coast, Don.”
Lemon — who has a history of making inappropriate comments on air — decided that this was an opportune time for a dash of body positivity. “Thank you, Sara Sidner, you’re a beautiful woman, no matter what size you are, and there’s nothing wrong with having a little curve.”
Just the thing a professional journalist wants to hear while getting pummeled by 60 mph winds.