Garrison Keillor on firing: ‘I put my hand on a woman’s bare back’
Garrison Keillor said Wednesday he was fired from Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) because of an incident where he put his hand on a woman’s bare back.
MRP announced earlier Wednesday it had fired Keillor after allegations of inappropriate behavior from one of his co-workers.
“I put my hand on a woman’s bare back. 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. She recoiled,” Keillor told The Minneapolis Star Tribune in an email.
“I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called,” he added.
Keillor called his firing “poetic irony of a high order.”
“If I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie with me and who slipped an arm around me and let it drift down below the beltline, I’d have at least a hundred dollars. So this is a poetic irony of a high order,” Keillor said.
“Getting fired is a real distinction in broadcasting and I’ve waited 50 years for the honor,” Keillor said. “All of my heroes got fired. I only wish it could’ve been for something more heroic.”
MPR 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.”
Only one day earlier, Keillor wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post defending Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) amid allegations that the senator had groped women without their consent in the past.
Keillor said calls for Franken’s resignation are “pure absurdity.”