Following a string of criticisms involving Chris Matthews’ comparison of Bernie Sanders’ victory in Nevada to the Nazi German invasion of France, to on air gaffes mistaking a sitting US Senator for another candidate, to an in article in GQ describing uncomfortable comments made toward a female coworkers, the MSNBC host announced his retirement on air today during his show Hardball. The announcement was sudden and seemed to have caught the network by surprise, which quickly cut to a commercial break following the announcement.
Matthews cited a need to pass the torch onto the younger generation and addressed concerns raised about comments he had made to female coworkers in the past. “After a conversation with MSNBC, I decided tonight will be my last ‘Hardball,’ so let me tell you why,” he said. “The younger generation’s out there ready to take the reins. We see them in politics, in media, in fighting for their causes. They’re improving the workplace.”
Matthews has hosted “Hardball” for 20 years, but the series of recent events has placed strain on his relationship with MSNBC, with some internal sources claiming that the retirement announcement was due to pressure from the network to get the host to resign. Matthews was already expected to retire after the 2020 election season, but those discussions likely accelerated following recent issues.
MSNBC has not named a replacement for Matthews.