The television network NBC paid off a woman who accused host Chris Matthews of sexual harassment back in 1999, the Daily Caller has revealed.
According to internal sources, the network paid $40,000 to an assistant producer working on Matthews’ nightly political talk show, Hardball with Chris Mathews, although an NBC spokesperson later denied this and said she was paid a considerably smaller severance package instead.
The woman reportedly complained to company executives after Matthews made a series of “inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others.”
A network spokesperson confirmed that the situation was formally reviewed at the time and Matthews was given a warning, after executives determined that the comments were “inappropriate and juvenile” but did not have sexual intent.
It is not clear whether Matthews’ accuser left the company as a result of the allegations, although she has consequently gone on to work in a number of high-profile media positions.
Matthews, 71, is the latest high-profile figure at the NBC network to be implicated in the ongoing sexual harassment scandal that has engulfed major figures in politics, the media, and Hollywood.
Last month, NBC fired longtime anchor Matt Lauer of the Today Show over allegations of sexual misconduct that included claims he assaulted a female staffer and harassed a number of interns, script-runners, and bookers.
In October, the network also cut ties with special contributor Mark Halperin over a slew of allegations of sexual assault and harassment, while the network’s senior vice president Matt Zimmerman was also released for failing to report his sexual relationship with female employees.
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‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.
More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.
Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)
The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.
Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”
“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.