U.S. radio host Keillor fired over
accusation of improper behavior
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[November 30, 2017]
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. radio
host Garrison Keillor, creator of the long-running folksy variety show
"A Prairie Home Companion," has been fired over an accusation of
inappropriate behavior, Minnesota Public Radio said on Wednesday.
"Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is terminating its contracts with Garrison
Keillor and his private media companies after learning of allegations of
his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him," the
organization said in a statement. It gave no details.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Keillor told it in an email
that the behavior involved him putting his hand on a woman's 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," the Star Tribune quoted Keillor's email as saying. "I sent
her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me
and not to think about it."
He said he was "the least physically affectionate person" on his show.
David O'Neill, a Keillor representative, did not respond to a request
for comment. Reuters was not able to independently confirm the
Keillor, 75, is the latest U.S. media personality to lose a job in
recent weeks because of misconduct accusations.
NBC said on Wednesday it had fired anchor Matt Lauer from its morning
television show "Today" after a female colleague accused him of
inappropriate behavior. Lauer has yet to comment on the accusation.
Keillor is best known as the creator of "A Prairie Home Companion," a
mixture of gentle comedy sketches, music and social commentary, which he
hosted from 1974 to 2016.
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Author and radio personality Garrison Keillor listens to U.S.
President Barack Obama speak at a campaign rally in Minneapolis,
Minnesota, U.S. October 23, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
He created a fictional Minnesota town, Lake Wobegon, which featured
in the show and in a number of novels he wrote.
MPR said it would end rebroadcasts of that show hosted by Keillor,
as well as distribution and broadcast of his shorter "The Writer's
MPR said it was notified of the incident last month and retained an
outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation.
"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," Jon McTaggart, president of MPR, said in the statement.
Earlier this week, Keillor wrote an opinion piece in The Washington
Post defending Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken from Minnesota,
who has apologized after being accused of groping several women.
"This is pure absurdity and the atrocity it leads to is a code of
public deadliness. No kidding," Keillor wrote.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Alistair
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