Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Garrison Keillor Fired From Minnesota Public Radio Amid Allegations of Improper Behavior

Source NBC Source NBC Source MInnesota Public Radio Source NBC
Ivan Hill | 01 December, 2017, 05:01

Garrison Keillor, the former host of the wildly popular public radio program "A Prarie Home Companion", axed Wednesday by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of improper behavior.

Former Minnesota Public Radio host Garrison Keillor defended embattled Senator Al Franken against sexual harassment allegations, just one day before he was sacked over similar allegations.

Keillor, 75, retired as the host of "A Prairie Home Companion" in 2016, but still produced "The Writer's Almanac". His hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile, is in his second season as "Prairie Home" host.

He didn't give details of the allegation. "While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service".

MPR said in a statement that the organization had terminated its contract with Keillor, and had retained a law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the claims, which allegedly occurred while he was helming A Prairie Home Companion. He says her shirt was open and that his hand went up it about six inches.

Source MInnesota Public Radio
Source NBC Source MInnesota Public Radio Source NBC

Then he turned more serious: "Anyone who ever was around my show can tell you that I was the least physically affectionate person in the building".

He said he apologized when the woman recoiled, and also emailed the woman an apology. He writes that he thought they were friends until he got a call from her lawyer.

Sue Scott, a longtime voice actor on the radio show until Keillor stepped down, told the AP she was stunned.

ELIZABETH BURKE-DAIN: The Poetry Foundation is shocked with this news. Cindy Dina, of the Minneapolis suburb of Forest Lake, said she frequently listened when Keillor hosted the show and admired Keillor, calling him "iconic".

The firing Wednesday came shortly after Keillor, an avowed Democrat, wrote a syndicated column that ridiculed the idea that Sen. Keillor argued that the photo of Franken pretending to grab radio host Leeann Tweeden's breasts during a USO trip was done "in a spirit of low comedy", and talk of the Democratic senator resigning is "pure absurdity" that leads to "a code of public deadliness".

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