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Keillor offers explanation for firing

by Lynde Langdon & Kiley Crossland
Posted 11/29/17, 04:19 pm

UPDATE: In an email to the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Wednesday, radio personality Garrison Keillor said the inappropriate behavior cited as the reason for his firing from Minnesota Public Radio was intended as a friendly gesture. Keillor said he put his hand on a woman’s back in an effort to console her. “Her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized,” wrote Keillor, adding, “I sent her an email of apology later and she replied she had forgiven me and not to think about it.” Keillor said they remained friends after the incident, “right up until her lawyer called.”

OUR EARLIER REPORT (1:35 p.m.): Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) announced Wednesday it had fired Garrison Keillor, the former host of A Prairie Home Companion, over accusations of improper behavior with “an individual who worked with him.” Keillor, 75, told the Associated Press he was terminated over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” He didn’t give details of the accusations, nor did MPR, which said in a statement it received a single report of “inappropriate behavior” and didn’t know of any other similar accusations. MPR spokeswoman Angie Andresen said MPR would cut all ties with Keillor, including changing the name of A Prairie Home Companion, now hosted by Keillor’s hand-picked successor Chris Thile, and ending distribution and rebroadcasts of past programs hosted by Keillor, who retired as host in 2016. MPR also will cease distribution and broadcasts of Keillor’s current program, The Writer’s Almanac. “MPR takes these allegations seriously and we are committed to maintaining a safe, respectful and supportive work environment for all employees and everyone associated with MPR,” Andresen said. News of his firing came shortly after The Washington Post published a column written by Keillor that ridiculed the idea that Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., should resign over accusations of sexual harassment.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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Kiley Crossland

Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.

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  • Uff Da's picture
    Uff Da
    Posted: Wed, 11/29/2017 02:33 pm

    Who is next?  Santa Claus?!?!?

  • TxAgEngr
    Posted: Wed, 11/29/2017 03:48 pm

    These leftist entertainers, reporters and politicians like to signal their virtue, but actually possess very little.  Those of us who follow Christ and study the Bible and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit know the personal struggle to live a virtuous life.  Keillor regularly mocked the church on his radio program, so it does not surprise me in the least that he fell prey to the temptation of sexual sin.  The scriptures tell us "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling."

  • DakotaLutheran
    Posted: Wed, 11/29/2017 04:53 pm

    I find MPR's response scandalous. That one accusation, and one that, at least at present, appears "harmless" or incidental, should result in such public disapproval and presumption of guilt is outrageous. There is something going on that I just don't get. It is beginning to feel like the "Red Scare" of the fifties or witch hunts. Everyone is running scared: scared that they will be accused and scared that if they don't accuse the accused swiftly enough, they will be accused. 

  • Trumpetly Speaking
    Posted: Thu, 11/30/2017 09:17 am

    I agree.  If we don't keep this reasonable, this movement will lose value.  Those who have been harmed by sexual predation will continue to be harmed if we can't separate out levels.  Garrison's behavior is in no way similar to Matt Lauer's, or Weinstein's or any of the other powerful men who have been brought down.  MPR was wrong.  Firing Garrison will only weaken the power of the tremendous good that is possible by women coming forward.  

  • Bob C
    Posted: Thu, 11/30/2017 09:52 am

    The fact that Mr. Keillor was called by her lawyer could explain that something more happened that we do not know about. 

  • MamaC
    Posted: Thu, 11/30/2017 11:29 am

    That one particular incident may not have called for termination, but I hardly see how it can be called "harmless" or "incidental." I understand putting a hand on a back in a consolatory gesture, but going inside the shirt and up six inches?? Not accidental. Not acceptable.

  • MikeD
    Posted: Wed, 11/29/2017 07:14 pm

    As usual, the idiots are out in force now.