Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor apologises for 'sexist' shirt

Libby Plummer
Yahoo News.
Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor apologies for 'sexist' shirt (ESA livestream)

Rosetta project scientist Matt Taylor has apologised after a shirt that he wore in a video interview was branded 'sexist' by some viewers.

The shirt in question sports a distinctive pattern made up of semi-naked women in provocative poses and was worn by Taylor during an interview by Nature Newsteam during the build-up to the historic comet landing.

Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor apologies for 'sexist' shirt during livestream (ESA livestream)

Taylor's role in the landing was slightly overshadowed when viewers took to Twitter to express their outrage at his choice of outfit with many using the hashtags #ShirtGate and #ShirtStorm.

Rose Eveleth, tech writer for The Atlantic (@roseveleth), tweeted: "No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt" alongside a picture of Taylor in the offending garment.

During a European Space Agency livestream discussing the successful landing, a visibly emotional Taylor, wearing a sombre hoodie, addressed the controversy saying: "The shirt I wore this week...I made a big mistake and I offended many people and I'm very sorry about this".

To Taylor's credit, he then took a few moments to compose himself before going on to talk about the all-important Philae comet lander.

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Taylor is known for his bright shirts and for showing off his tattoos during interviews but this appears to be the first time that his satorial choices have not been well received.

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While many viewers don't have a problem with the shirt and some simply see it as comically bad choice for an international broadcast, others view it as just one more example of the casual sexism encounted by women in the tech and science world every day.