In her story for the magazine, the former MSNBC guest and freelance journalist outlines many examples of Matthews’ misogyny and inappropriate behavior over the years around female politicians, female media personalities, including herself.
“Many women in politics or media who have interacted with the bombastic host have some kind of story about him making them feel uncomfortable on the job. I have my own,” writes Bassett.
We reached out to MSNBC for comment on Bassett’s story, and have yet to hear back.
Bassett recalls writing a personal essay in 2017 about “a much older, married cable news host who inappropriately flirted with me in the makeup room a few times before we went live on his show, making me noticeably uncomfortable on air.”
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.”
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.
I said I didn’t know, and he said—again to the makeup artist—“Make sure you wipe this off her face after the show. We don’t make her up so some guy at a bar can look at her like this.”
Bassett noted that she had feared referring to the host by name for fear of retaliation by the network. However, she now has no problem stating publicly that said person was indeed Matthews.
Again—Matthews was never my boss. I’m pretty sure that behavior doesn’t rise to the level of illegal sexual harassment. But it undermined my ability to do my job well. And after I published a story about it, even though I didn’t name him, dozens of people reached out to say they knew exactly who it was. Many had similar stories.