Two former MSNBC producers told The Daily Caller that newscaster Chris Matthews is abusive and sexist, and creates a hostile work environment with his attitude and actions.
Three other witnesses who recalled similar alleged incidents also spoke to the outlet.
What are the details?
The multiple witnesses told The Daily Caller that the “Hardball” host was hotheaded and was “liable to fly off the handle at the slightest mistake,” noting that some of the staff felt like they suffered from “battered wives syndrome” as a result of having to work for Matthews.
Witnesses also alleged that Matthews would often make comments of an inappropriate sexual nature, and would objectify female guests, ranking them based on physical appearances.
“He would eye down a woman who walked on set or comment on their features or what they were wearing,” a former MSNBC producer told The Daily Caller. “He would objectify them and interrupt them in a way that he would never do to his male guests. He has a very outdated view of women.”
Two former NBC producers who spoke to the outlet requested anonymity to protect their privacy and out of fear of professional ramifications.
One of them said, “Sadly, I know other women who won’t even be an anonymous source regarding Chris [Matthews] because they’re that concerned about the door closing on career opportunities in media.”
Others discussed Matthews’ on-set volatility, and described incidents in which he would scream at and berate those on set, which left staffers feeling like they were walking around on “eggshells.”
“The screaming is beyond the screaming you’ve ever heard,” one producer described. “You just feel so under attack.”
The producer continued, “He did it so openly. It’s not just sexual harassment. … What are you supposed to do when somebody is verbally abusing you and attacking you this way?”
Other sources noted that Matthews would often belittle those on set, mocking their intelligence and insinuating that they weren’t cut out to work on the show. He would often erupt over minor things, such as teleprompter or technical errors, the sources said.
One of the former producers described an apathetic human resources department at MSNBC that often coddled the “talent.”
“Their common first instinct is to protect the talent, no matter what the complaint, and then turn the victim into the problem,” the producer revealed. “When he turns on you, look out. All they do is protect him. All they do is protect him from himself.”
Is there more?
NBC in December confirmed that the network once paid a woman who worked with Matthews a “separation-related settlement” after she complained about sexual harassment.
The woman was reportedly paid a sum of $40,000 and Matthews was slapped with a formal reprimand.
Matthews has been the host of “Hardball” since 1997.