Garrison Keillor fired after allegations of inappropriate behavior

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Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) has fired Garrison Keillor after allegations of inappropriate behavior from one of his co-workers.

MPR announced the termination of Keillor’s contract in a statement Wednesday.

“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.


MPR says a special committee was appointed to provide “oversight and ongoing counsel” after the allegations. The station also brought in an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation.

“Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff,” MPR said. “The attorney leading the independent investigation has been conducting interviews and reviewing documents, and the investigation is still ongoing.”

MPR also announced it would end rebroadcasts of Keillor’s “The Best of A Prairie Home Companion” as well as distribution and broadcast of another show he hosts, “The Writer’s Almanac.”

MPR also said in its statement that “A Prairie Home Companion,” which is now hosted by musician Chris Thile, will be renamed.

Keillor told The Associated Press that he was fired over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”

“I put my hand on a woman’s bare back,” Keillor said in an email to the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

“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,” he said. “She recoiled. I apologized.”

Keillor also said he apologized to the woman in an email, and she replied that she had forgiven him.

“We were friends,” he added. “We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.”

His firing comes less than a day after he published an op-ed in The Washington Post defending Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) after several women accused Franken of groping them.

In the op-ed, Keillor said calls for Franken’s resignation following the allegations are “pure absurdity,” and added “the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness.”

Following the announcement of Keillor’s firing, the Post updated his op-ed with a note from the editors. 

“The Post takes allegations of this kind seriously and is seeking more information about them,” the note read.

Keillor created “A Prairie Home Companion” in 1974 and hosted the show until his retirement from hosting duties in 2016. He has hosted “The Writer’s Almanac,” distributed by American Public Media, since 1993.

This story was updated at 2:19 P.M. EST.

Tags A Prairie Home Companion Al Franken Garrison Keillor

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