Garrison Keillor Fired After Sexual Assault Allegations

Emmett Rice
December 1, 2017

The network said the decision came after learning of allegations of inappropriate behavior with someone who worked with Keillor. According to USA Today, Keillor's response to the termination was explained in an email to the Associated Press as being caused by, "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard".

"It's some sort of poetic irony to be knocked off the air by a story, having told so many of them myself, but I'm 75 and don't have any interest in arguing about this".

Keillor didn't detail the allegation to AP, but in an email to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Keillor said he had put his hand on a woman's bare back in an attempt to console her.

In the statement, MPR said it was notified last month of the allegations, "which relate to Mr. Keillor's conduct while he was responsible for the production of 'A Prairie Home Companion'".

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The AP noted that, though Keillor retired from his post at "A Prairie Home Companion" previous year, he had continued producing "The Writers Almanac" for syndication. "We should be careful...not to make the world so fine and good that you and I can't enjoy living in it", he said. MPR said the allegation stemmed from Keillor's conduct when he was producing and hosting "A Prairie Home Companion". The investigation is still ongoing. Based on what we now know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff.

MPR announced it will stop broadcasting episodes of A Prairie Home Companion from Keillor's tenure and change the name of the weekly program, now hosted by musician Chris Thile.

More Garrison Keillor tour shows have been canceled.

Keillor started "A Prairie Home Companion" as a Saturday evening show in 1974, featuring tales of his fictional Minnesota hometown of Lake Wobegon "where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average". "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 writes that calls for Senator Franken to resign are, quote, "pure absurdity".

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