Today, Garrison Keillor joins the list of high-profile men in media who have been fired following allegations of misconduct. Don’t worry if the name doesn’t quite ring a bell, because even if you don’t know who he is by name, you’ve probably heard him before. Keillor’s long-standing Minnesota Public Radio and NPR variety show, A Prairie Home Companion, has been so popular over the years that a movie version starring Lindsay Lohan and Meryl Streep was made in the mid-2000s. Keillor has also been skewered on The Simpsons and Family Guy, and most recently on Netflix’s hit Big Mouth for his folksy, long-winded storytelling.
Now, just one day after penning an op-ed for the Washington Post asking people to forgive Senator Al Franken after mounting sexual misconduct allegations, Keillor told the Associated Press by email that he was fired from as producer for the station’s syndicated show The Writer’s Almanac. Shortly after, MPR released their own statement addressing the matter.
“Last month, MPR was notified of the allegations which relate to Mr. Keillor’s conduct while he was responsible for the production of A Prairie Home Companion,” the statement reads. After the radio station investigated the allegations, the station’s board of directors created an independent investigation and also hired a legal team.
The radio station goes on to explain that it will be severing ties with Keillor, as well as canceling syndication and broadcast of all his shows, including re-run episodes of APHC. While Keillor may have retired from APHC, the show has continued airing on Saturday nights; now, it will be renamed immediately. The station is also stopping sales of APHC memorabilia on its website.
In a follow-up, Keillor said he was fired over an allegation that had a bigger story attached to it, telling the AP that the full details are, “more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” No further details of the allegations have been made public yet.
In yesterday’s statement regarding his longtime friend, Senator Franken, Keillor asked that people reframe the accusation against his longtime friend, saying Franken’s actions were “in the spirit of low comedy.”
A Prairie Home Companion has long been considered a nostalgic slice of Americana, right down to its wholesome storytelling and down-home musical guests. The accusation against Keillor was made public just a few hours after Americans learned of the firing of long-time Today Show host Matt Lauer.
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(Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images for Norman Mailer Center)