Veteran MSNBC host Chris Matthews said he's retiring from his show Hardball, citing his inappropriate comments about women. Matthews opened his program Monday with the announcement he was ending his run on the political hour that he started in 1997, the AP reports. "This is the last Hardball on MSNBC, and obviously this isn't for lack of interest in politics," he said. Matthews made the decision after conversations with MSNBC, he said. His compliments on a woman's appearance that some men, himself included, thought were OK "were never OK," Matthews said. "For making such comments in the past," he added, "I'm sorry."
In a first-person story for GQ published Feb. 28, freelance journalist Laura Bassett said Matthews behaved inappropriately toward her when she was a guest on his show. "In 2016, right before I had to go on his show and talk about sexual-assault allegations against Donald Trump, Matthews looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, ‘Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?' 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,'" Bassett wrote. "Another time, he stood between me and the mirror and complimented the red dress I was wearing for the segment. 'You going out tonight?' he asked." Bassett said she had written about the encounter in a 2017 essay but didn't name Matthews because she was afraid of network retaliation, adding, "I'm not anymore." (Last week, Matthews apologized to Bernie Sanders.)