MSNBC’s Chris Matthews announced on Monday that he was retiring effective immediately following controversy surrounding recent remarks that he had made on air.
“Let me start with my headline tonight. I’m retiring,” Matthews said. “This is the last ‘Hardball’ on MSNBC, and obviously this isn’t for lack of interest in politics. As you can tell I have loved every minute of my 20 years as host as ‘Hardball.’ Every morning I read the papers and I’m gung ho to get to work. Many many people have had this privilege.”
“I love working with the producers and the discussions we have over how to report the news,” Matthew continued. “I love having the connection with you the good people who watch. I’ve learned who you are, bumping into you on the sidewalk or waiting in an airport and saying hello. You’re like me. I hear from your kids and grandchildren. My dad loves you, my grandmother loves you. We watched it till the end. ”
“After conversation with NBC, I decided tonight will be my last ‘Hardball,'” Matthews continued. “So let me tell you why: The younger generations are ready to take the reigns. We see them in politics, the media, and fighting for their causes. … They grew up with better standards, fair standards. A lot of it has to do with how we talk to each other, compliments on a woman’s appearance that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were okay, were never okay. Certainly not today.”
“For making such comments in the past, I’m sorry,” Matthews continued. “I’m very proud of the work I’ve done here. Long before I went on television, I worked for years in politics, was a newspaper columnist and author. I’m working on another book. I’ll continue to write and talk about politics and cheer on my producers and crew here in Washington and New York and my MSNBC colleagues. They will continue to produce great journalism in the years ahead. For those who have gotten in the habit of watching ‘Hardball’ every night I hope you’re going to miss me because I’m going to miss you.”
Chris Matthews announces — on a Monday — he’s retiring and that today’s “Hardball” will be the last.
"After my conversation with NBC, I decided tonight will be my last Hardball. I’ll tell you why. The younger generations are ready to take the reigns." pic.twitter.com/Y3HV9Qy35l
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 3, 2020
Matthews’ resignation comes after he received intense backlash over his criticisms of Bernie Sanders’ socialism, mistaking a black Democrat for a black Republican, comparing Sanders’ wins to Nazi Germany taking over France, and was accused of sexual harassment.
“But executives at MSNBC had been discussing a potential retirement plan for Mr. Matthews for months, according to two people familiar with internal network discussions,” The New York Times reported. “There was talk of shifting ‘Hardball’ to a less prominent time of day, during MSNBC’s afternoon lineup.”
“Sources close to Matthews bill this as mutual decision…which it is on paper,” Journalist Yashar Ali tweeted late on Monday night following Matthews’ announcement. “But he was told it was time to move on by NBC News management They didn’t want to deal with his inappropriate/offensive comments, gaffes, & more stories about his past conduct during election year.”
5. Sources close to Matthews bill this as mutual decision…which it is on paper. But he was told it was time to move on by NBC News management
They didn’t want to deal with his inappropriate/offensive comments, gaffes, & more stories about his past conduct during election year
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 3, 2020
This report has been updated to include additional information.