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Comet Probe Scientist With Offensive Shirt Breaks Down In Tears Apologizing For His Fashion Choices

Wearing a shirt covered with half-naked women for a major media event was a dumb thing to do, Dr. Matt Taylor tearfully admits.

Posted on November 14, 2014, at 4:26 p.m. ET

Earlier this week the world celebrated a milestone in humankind’s evolution as scientists successfully landed a probe on a comet for the first time.

It was a remarkable feat of scientific endeavor that made the world pause, come together, and reflect on what we as a species are capable of.

AP Photo/Esa/Rosetta/Philae

Then everyone got distracted by this guy’s shirt.

Nature News / Via youtube.com

British scientist Dr. Matt Taylor, the mission's project scientist, wore this shirt during interviews in the lead-up to the successful landing.

Yes, Taylor woke up that morning, presumably showered, mentally readied himself to publicly discuss the culmination of a 10-year scientific project, and decided to wear that shirt.

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As BuzzFeed has previously reported, the shirt lit up social media.

But many people were not impressed.

and now that we know that Philae is safe (whew. yay!!), resending: Spock is not amused.

Maryn McKenna@marynmckFollow

and now that we know that Philae is safe (whew. yay!!), resending: Spock is not amused.

11:15 AM - 12 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The shirt sparked some insightful (and less insightful) discussion online about welcoming working environments for women.

No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt. https://t.co/r88QRzsqAm

Rose Eveleth@rosevelethFollow

No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt. https://t.co/r88QRzsqAm

9:22 AM - 12 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

During a Google Hangout hosted by the European Space Agency on Friday, Taylor took the time to apologize.

ESA / Via youtube.com
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"The shirt I wore this week… I made a big mistake and I've offended many people and I'm very sorry about this," Taylor said.

He was comforted by one colleague as he broke down in tears:

ESA / Via youtube.com

But others on the panel, as well as those video-conferencing from elsewhere, remained awkwardly silent.

ESA: / Via youtube.com

Watch the tearful apology here:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com
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