Television host Chris Matthews announced his retirement at the start of Monday’s episode of Hardball after being accused of sexual harassment.

“Compliments on a woman’s appearance that some men, including me, once incorrectly would have thought were okay, they were never okay. Not then, and certainly not today, and for making such comments in the past, I am sorry,” Matthews said.

Matthews was referring to an article published by GQ. In it, journalist Laura Bassett writes about her sexist run-ins with the 74-year-old host. She wrote that Matthews made many uncomfortable statements regarding her appearance.

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“Matthews looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, ‘Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?'” Bassett wrote. “When I laughed nervously and said nothing, he followed up to the makeup artist. ‘Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.'”

Matthews has a long history of inappropriately commenting on female guests appearances during his show including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former acting attorney general Sally Yates.

In 2016, right before an interview with then candidate Hillary Clinton, Mathews made a joke about wanting a “Bill Cosby pill.” The “Bill Cosby pill” refers to Bill Cosby’s history of giving quaaludes to women in order to rape them.

Most recently, Mathews has been criticized for his condescending tone during a recent interview with presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren in regards to one of her attacks against Mike Bloomberg during the debate.

A person with knowledge of the situation told CNN that Matthews was told by management to step down and that the situation was a “firing that was masked as a retirement announcement.”

Bassett has responded to the public retirement and apology on her Twitter account. She wrote, “All I gotta say is… it’s about time.” In another post she added, “No, I have more to say than that. Since calling out Chris Matthews, this week has been really rough. The harassment has been invasive, cruel and personal. And it’s all worth it if he will never have the platform to demean and objectify us again.”

Journalist Kathleen Parker posted a tweet in defense of Matthews. “Chris Matthews is a friend of mine. He and I have flirted unabashedly for 20 years. This is an atrocious end to a noble, happy-warrior career. I will continue to be his friend. Angry column to follow.”

Former Fox News anchor and co-founder of Lift Our Voices Gretchen Carlson replied to Parker’s tweet asking, “Kathleen — respect you but were you with him in every case of interactions with other women?”

MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki took over Monday’s episode after Matthews announced his retirement. “Chris Matthews is a giant, he is a legend… I knew how much you meant to him, and how much he meant to you. And I think you’re going to miss him, and I will too,” said Kornacki.

 

 

 

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