Don Lemon attends the 15th annual CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on December 12, 2021 in New York City.

Mike Coppola | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Former CNN anchor Don Lemon announced Wednesday that Elon Musk has canceled a partnership that would see Lemon host a new show on X, the social media platform Musk owns.

Lemon said he was informed of the decision to cancel the deal just hours after taping an interview with Musk for the March 18 premiere of The Don Lemon Show.

“We had a good conversation. Obviously, he felt differently,” Lemon said of the interview in a statement Wednesday. “His commitment to a global town square where all questions can be asked and all ideas can be shared doesn’t seem to include questions to him from people like me.”

“There were no restrictions on the interview he voluntarily agreed to, and my questions were respectful and broad, covering everything from SpaceX to the presidential election,” Lemon said in a statement.

Musk said in an X post later Wednesday that “instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just Jeff Zucker speaking through Don, so there was a lack of authenticity. All that said, Lemon/Zucker are of course welcome to build their audience on this platform along with everyone else.” Zucker is a former president of CNN.

Musk has called himself a First Amendment and free speech advocate for years. When he took over Twitter, he reinstated accounts that had been permanently suspended under previous administrations, including that of former President Donald Trump. At the same time, he has shown little tolerance for the free speech of his employees and has banned or suspended several critics of X since taking over the company.

Lemon said his show would go on despite the cancellation of the deal. The interview with Musk will be published on YouTube and podcast platforms and will still be published on X, Lemon said.

“The Don Lemon Show is welcome to publish its content on X, uncensored, as we believe in providing a platform for creators to scale their work and connect with new communities,” the corporate account for X it said in a statement on the site. “However, like any business, we reserve the right to make decisions about our business partnerships and after careful consideration, X has decided not to enter into a commercial partnership with the show.”

Lemon expects to be paid for the partnership with X, according to Alison Gollust, a spokeswoman for the former cable news anchor and CNN’s former chief marketing officer.

“Don has a deal with X and expects to be paid for it. If we have to go to court, we will,” Gollust said in a statement to CNBC.

X announced in January that Lemon would host a show on the platform, in addition to programs by former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and sports commentator Jim Rome. Lemon was fired from CNN last year after sexist comments on air and reports that he abused colleagues.

CNBC reached out to Musk, one of his lawyers, Alex Spiro, and Twitter separately. It remains unclear what, if any, contract was arranged and what the terms of any partnership between X and The Don Lemon Show were.

— CNBC’s Laura Kolodny contributed to this report.