- Nov 29, 2017 7:58 PM EST: Longtime Minnesota Public Radio star Garrison Keillor, who was fired Wednesday for inappropriate behavior, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, on the allegation against him.
“I put my hand on a woman’s bare back. I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called,” Keillor told the Star.
It’s unclear how many people may have accused Keillor of inappropriate behavior, but in his statement to the Star, he said he's not a very affectionate person.
“Anyone who ever was around my show can tell you that I was the least physically affectionate person in the building. Actors hug, musicians hug, people were embracing every Saturday night left and right, and I stood off in the corner like a stone statue.
“If I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie with me and who slipped an arm around me and let it drift down below the beltline, I’d have at least a hundred dollars. So this is poetic irony of a high order. But I’m just fine. I had a good long run and am grateful for it and for everything else.”
- "Minnesota Public Radio is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him," MPR officials said in a statement.
- Station officials were tipped off last month to allegations that Keillor acted inappropriately while he was responsible for production of "A Prairie Home Companion." They did not elaborate on Keillor's alleged behavior.
- The station is investigating the allegations and whether there were other incidents that went unreported.
- "Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff," MPR officials said.
- In a statement to The Associated Press, Keillor said he was fired over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”
- He did not elaborate on the allegation.
- MPR officials said they would no longer distribute or broadcast Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac" or rebroadcast "The Best of A Prairie Home Companion." They will also rename "A Prairie Home Companion," which was created by Keillor and hosted by him from 1974 to 2016. The music and variety show is currently hosted by musician Chris Thine.
- MPR officials said the network would also separate itself from the Pretty Good Goods online catalog and the PrairieHome.org website.
- "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," MPR president Jon McTaggart said. "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."
- Keillor is just the latest well-known man to lose his job in the wake of reports of inappropriate behavior.
- Earlier Wednesday, NBC News announced that it fired longtime "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer after one of his colleagues accused him of "inappropriate sexual behavio in the workplace," NBC News chairman Andy Lack said.
- PBS and CBS News announced on Nov. 21 that they were cutting ties with award-winning journalist Charlie Rose after he was accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward multiple women.