A trip to space, a Tesla Cybertruck and the ability to censor on X: Don Lemon's unusual demands for a partnership with Elon Musk

The journalist not only sought to be held accountable for the information that would be on the social network but also hoped to have a say in the platform's policies.

CNN anchor Don Lemon is embroiled in controversy after his attempted partnership with X ended abruptly. Lemon reportedly made a series of outlandish demands, including a $5 million advance, free delivery of a Tesla, being the first to have a podcast from space, and seeking control and the ability to censor news content and talent across the platform.

Last week, Elon Musk, the 52-year-old SpaceX founder, canceled a deal that involved Lemon hosting a new talk show exclusively on X. According to the CNN anchor, the partnership fell through after the social network CEO reneged on his promise of "free speech." However, according to a report from DailyMail.com, the real reason behind the cancellation was Lemon's ambitious demands, which included the desire to control censorship on the social network, along with other unique requirements.

The report claims that Lemon intended to require X to ask him before making changes to the platform's news, give him a cut of the money for new content, and not make deals with other talent during the first year.

"Don wanted control and input on every creator that was coming to the platform. He wanted a voice into what type of news information would be on the platform. Separately, he wanted to make decisions about the policies of the platform," said a source familiar with the deal.

Lemon's original demands allegedly also included a $5 million retainer, a $10 million annual marketing commitment from the platform, being the first to podcast from space and receiving a Tesla Cybertruck.

The interview between Elon Musk and Don Lemon

Despite Lemon's demands, Musk granted him an interview for the debut episode of The Don Lemon Show. Shortly after the tense conversation, the deal between the personalities was called off.

During more than an hour of conversation, Lemon touched on topics such as race, censorship, presidential elections and legacy. The highlight, however, was a question about drug use.

After the interview, Musk criticized Lemon's approach, suggesting it lacked authenticity and comparing it to CNN. Musk called it "dull" and "underwhelming."