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Women’s Group to MSNBC: Fire Chris Matthews

UltraViolet Action Says Warren Believes Survivors of Workplace Abuse, Was Right to Bring Up Documented Accusations that Bloomberg Told a Pregnant Employee to “Kill It”

WASHINGTON - During last night’s Democratic presidential primary debate in South Carolina, Senator Elizabeth Warren explained why she thought Michael R. Bloomberg was the “riskiest” candidate for the Democratic Party to nominate, with a pointed recitation of his history of crude and sexist comments. In recalling pregnancy discrimination she had faced as a special-education teacher, Warren lamented that she hadn’t had a union or a federal law protecting her. And then she turned to Mr. Bloomberg, saying “At least I didn’t have a boss who said to me, ‘Kill it,’ the way that Mayor Bloomberg is documented to have said to one of his pregnant employees,” Ms. Warren said. “People want a chance to hear from the women who have worked for Mayor Bloomberg.”

After the debate, MSNBC host Chris Matthews questioned Warren repeatedly on whether she was sure of her accusation that billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg had told a woman at his company to "kill it" when he found out that she was pregnant.

In reaction to Matthews’ questioning, Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and President of UltraViolet Action, a leading national women’s organization, issued the following statement:
 
“MSNBC needs to fire Chris Matthews. Today.
 
“Matthews’ refusal to believe women, and history of sexual harassment, make it clear that he is not fit to continue to cover this election. MSNBC can and must do better, and they can start by firing Chris Matthews.
 
"We believe women, and we believe this accusation is genuine. The woman who made this accusation years ago has no incentive to lie about these claims - but Bloomberg, who is running for President, clearly does.
That’s because Bloomberg’s history of sexist comments and racist attitudes have been well documented - he faces 40 cases involving 65 people who endured discrimination and harassment as his employee.
 
“We applaud Senator Warren for standing with survivors of workplace abuse and bringing up these comments at the debate - it is clear that she supports and believes women - something that every Democratic nominee for President can and must do."

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UltraViolet Action had previously called on Bloomberg to release all women from non-disclosure agreements related to sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.

Last year, UltraViolet, in conjunction with workplace abuse prevention experts from Works in Progress and PB Work Solutions, released a set of recommendations and guidelines for all 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to use to prevent and respond to workplace harassment and sexual violence within their campaigns.
 
 
VIEW THE LETTER AND RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES HERE: weareultraviolet.org/guidelines
 
Thousands of UltraViolet members have signed onto a petition demanding that all 2020 presidential candidates, including Mike Bloomberg, stop silencing survivors and release former and current employees who request it from nondisclosure agreements relating to sexual assault, abuse, or harassment.
 
 
In recent months, UltraViolet has also called for Comcast/NBCUniversal to address its toxic workplace culture. In November 2019, UltraViolet organized a letter to the DNC, signed by Presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Julian Castro, and Tom Steyer, calling on the DNC to demand Comcast/NBCUniversal take action to address the toxic culture that exists across their newsrooms and boardrooms. In October, members of UltraViolet rallied outside of NBC’s headquarters in New York City to deliver more than 20,000 signatures demanding changes across Comcast.
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UltraViolet is an online community of over 550,000 women and men who want to take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media.  Find out more at WeAreUltraViolet.org

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