The Hardball host reported his retirement on live TV and apologized for the comments he’s made in the past.
“Compliments on a women’s appearance that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK, were never OK. Not then and certainly not today,” he said. “And for making such comments in the past, I’m sorry.”
Just a handful of days earlier, GQ columnist Laura Bassett wrote a piece titled “Like Warren, I Had My Own Sexist Run-In with Chris Matthews.” In it were damning details about the host. The accusations included him hitting on women reporters (including Bassett), rating female hosts, and belittling women politicians.
“In 2017, I wrote about a cable news host being gross and inappropriate with me. I was afraid to name him at the time,” Bassett tweeted. “I’m not anymore; it was Chris Matthews! And his sexist exchange with Warren this week inspired me to revisit those moments and name him.”
Online reactions have been divided with some people thankful that he’s leaving and others sad–and even angry–to see him go.
Many people gave tributes to him by tweeting about the impact he had on their careers.
“Chris Matthews gave me my first big TV break. Then he became a mentor and a friend,” reporter Heidi Przybyla wrote. “I cannot and would never speak for other women. But I will always be so grateful for him.”
Meanwhile, others thought his apology wasn’t sufficient.
“What’s telling about Chris Matthews’ farewell comments is how he characterized his long history of sexism as simply making ‘compliments on a women’s appearance.’ He wants this to be about something it’s not,” Twitter user @JessicaValenti wrote.
Many people blamed “liberals” for his retirement, which many believe that MSNBC forced.
“It appears the woke commies got Chris Matthews,” Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich wrote.
Even Bassett herself tweeted her thoughts about his announcement.
“All I gotta say is… it’s about time,” she tweeted immediately after his on-air comments.
She then followed up her first tweet with a more detailed response.
“No, I have more to say than that. Since calling out Chris Matthews, this week has been really rough,” she wrote. “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.”
Her final tweet at the time of publication was, “Anyway, who else needs a whiskey shot.”