Syndicated radio host Garrison Keillor confirmed that he was let go by Minnesota Public Radio after allegations of harassment surfaced against him.
In an email to the Associated Press, Keillor claimed that his employment was terminated “over a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”
MPR issued a statement on their website on Wednesday, November 29, sharing that the station chose to terminate their business relationship with Keillor, 75, and stop distributing his programs “after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.”
MPR President Jon McTaggart explained in the statement that, although Keillor has made a worthy contribution to the network, his firing needed to happen in order for MPR to maintain its integrity. “Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances,” McTaggart wrote. “While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of the public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audience, employees and supporters of our public service.”
Keillor, who is best known for writing and producing radio show The Writer’s Almanac and rebroadcasting The Best of a Prairie Companion, was fired one day after writing an op-ed for the Washington Post defending Minnesota Senator Al Franken, who was recently accused of sexual harassment. In his article, the radio personality shared his belief that Franken, 66, should not resign his government position. Keillor also wrote that one of the allegations against the senator is “pure absurdity.”
As previously reported, Franken released a statement after radio personality Leann Tweeden accused him of groping her without her consent. “The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women,” the politician and comedian said on November 16. “There’s more I want to say, but the first and most important thing — and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine — is: I’m sorry.”
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