Local fallout to the allegations of inappropriate behavior by former "A Prairie Home Companion" host Garrison Keillor: His Pittsfield show was canceled Wednesday night, just hours before he was supposed to perform.
Keillor told the Associated Press of his firing in an email. In a follow-up statement, he says he was sacked over "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard". Keillor didn't detail the allegation to AP, but told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he had put his hand on a woman's bare back when trying to console her.
Garrison Keillor will retire from "A Prairie Home Companion" in July 2016. "I sent her an email of apology later, and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it". In addition, MPR retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations.
"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", the statement said. The investigation is still ongoing.
In a separate announcement, M.P.R. has said it will stop re-airing episodes of Keillor's popular show popular radio show, A Prairie Home Companion and will re-name the program. Based on what we now know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff. His hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile, is in his second season as "Prairie Home" host.
Then he turned more serious: "Anyone who ever was around my show can tell you that I was the least physically affectionate person in the building".
Coincidentally, Keillor wrote a column for the Washington Post this week defending Sen. Keillor argued that the photo of Franken pretending to grab radio host Leeann Tweeden's breasts during a USO trip was done "in a spirit of low comedy", and talk of the Democratic senator resigning is "pure absurdity" that leads to "a code of public deadliness".
"Eleven years later, a talk show host in L.A., goes public, and there is talk of resignation", Keillor wrote.