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On Wednesday night, former New York mayor and current billionaire Michael Bloomberg made his Democratic debate debut in Las Vegas. It was the country’s first real introduction into a candidate who recently made, well, every headline — partly for his campaign memes and partly for his drudged up past. And the tension of the entire debate was centered on Bloomberg, too: in the first of many heated moments, Sen. Elizabeth Warren ripped into Bloomberg for his past comments about women.
“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians’,” Sen. Warren said. “And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.” Warren called out Bloomberg for two scathing comments about women, which later referred to as “jokes.” But the attack didn’t end there.
She also brought up the non-disclosure agreements Bloomberg infamously had his employees sign over the years when he boasted running such a positive workplace. Warren asked about the ongoing NDAs at his company, which prevent women from speaking out about the inner-workings of the company. Bloomberg protested that they’d been “signed consensually,” and visibly rolled his eyes during Warren’s line of questioning about his history of misogyny.
There have been nearly 40 sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits brought against Bloomberg over the years and Elizabeth Warren was, of course, not the first person to call the former NYC mayor out for sexist behavior and remarks. In fact, his comments are pretty easy to find. Below, we’ve detailed a timeline of Bloomberg’s most scathing and sexist comments against women.
1989: “All of you girls line up to give him [oral sex] as a wedding present.”
This quote is from a workplace discrimination suit against Bloomberg and his company, and Bloomberg is alleged to have said this to women employees about a man who worked with them who was getting married.
1990: The booklet of quotes
In 1990, Bloomberg’s company gifted him a booklet of his own quotes for his 48th birthday, titled The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg. Made public in 2001, when New York Magazine got their hands on a copy of it, the booklet contains many eyebrow-raising quotes including, “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s” and “I know for a fact that any self-respecting woman who walks past a construction site and doesn’t get a whistle will turn around and walk past again and again until she does get one.” Also included are the names Warren brought up in the debate: “horsey faced lesbian,” “some fat broad.” The editor noted that some of Bloomberg’s quotes were “too outrageous to include.”
1996: “I’d like to do that piece of meat.”
This quote was alleged in a 1996 lawsuit filed by Mary Ann Olszewski, and was reported by The Washington Post.
1996: Bloomberg opens up about his divorce
After divorcing his wife, Bloomberg was interviewed by The Guardian about his marriage and newly single status. In the interview, he said, “I like theater, dining and chasing women. Let me put it this way: I am a single, straight billionaire in Manhattan. What do you think? It’s a wet dream.”
The Late 1990s: The workplace discrimination lawsuit
At the end of the ‘90s, a former employee, Sekiko Sakai Garrison, sued Bloomberg and his company for workplace discrimination, as reported by The Washington Post. She alleged that Bloomberg made numerous sexist comments over the years, including, “Why didn’t they ask you to be in the picture? I guess they saw your face” and “What, is the guy dumb and blind? What the hell is he marrying you for?” Other comments alleged in the suit included Bloomberg telling Garrison to “kill it,” which she interpreted as being about her pregnancy, and that Bloomberg asked a woman employee, after he was unhappy with the way a meeting had gone, “If [the clients] told you to lay down and strip naked so they could fuck you, would you do that too?”
1999: Bloomberg makes sexualized comments about his daughter
Much like the highly-speculated and off-putting comments Donald Trump has made about his daughter, Ivanka, Bloomberg has a history of making sexual comments about his own daughter. In a 1999 Wired story, he is quoted as saying, “My daughter is tall and busty and blonde. We went to China together. And what’s a 16-year-old going to do on a business trip? So I got her dates in every city in China.”
2013: “Look at the ass on her.”
In a 2013 New York Magazine story on Christine Quinn, who was a New York City mayoral candidate at the time, the reporter recounts an interaction with Bloomberg at a Christmas party where Bloomberg gestured to a woman in attendance and made the comment, “look at the ass on her.”
March 2019: The Blatant TransphobiaWhile speaking at a forum hosted by the Bermuda Business Development Agency, Bloomberg said the following about transgender people: “If your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she, or it can go to the locker room with their daughter, that’s not a winning formula for most people.” The video was uncovered by Buzzfeed News.
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