Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski has issued an apology for comments she made during yesterday’s broadcast of the MSNBC show, asking why the women who have accused her friend and former co-worker Mark Halperin of sexual harassment are refusing to meet with him face-to-face to talk it out. Unsurprisingly, Brzezinski’s comments quickly came under heavy criticism from women pointing out the various inherent difficulties involved in women directly confronting their alleged harassers.
Brzezinski—who has stated that she’s also a survivor of sexual assault— has since stated that her goal with her comments was to turn the situation surrounding Halperin, the Game Change author who was suspended and ultimately fired from MSNBC back in October after several women came forward accusing him of harassing behavior, into a conversation, rather than just “anger.” Late last night, though, she ultimately acknowledged that she’d overstepped her bounds, apologizing to the women in question, and stating, “In the case of Mark, my goal today was to start a conversation about hearing from the men whenever we can, but I realize that it is not my place. It isn’t my call to make, and for that I am truly sorry.”
You can read Brzezinski’s full statement below:
We have been trying our best on Morning Joe to have an honest conversation about sexual harassment and sexual assault. The issue has hit close to home given that Mark Halperin was on our show. I have spent a lot of time talking to some of his accusers and to Mark himself. Often I bring up the issue on our show because I think it would be less than genuine to talk about the growing number of cases without recognizing that a former member of our team acted very badly.
In our discussion about sexual harassment this morning, I said some things that hurt people. In the case of Mark, my goal today was to start a conversation about hearing from the men whenever we can, but I realize that it is not my place. It isn’t my call to make, and for that I am truly sorry. As a victim of sexual assault, I understand that each individual’s case is different. This is up to the victims, some of whom I’ve been in contact with. My hope is for all of us to come together to support the brave women who speak out and help make workplaces safer as we continue this difficult conversation in the months and years ahead.