He’s the former host of A Prairie Home Companion.
Former A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor has lost his job at Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) over alleged inappropriate behavior. MPR released this statement:
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.
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 (APHC). MPR President Jon McTaggart immediately informed the MPR Board Chair, and a special Board committee was appointed to provide oversight and ongoing counsel. In addition, MPR retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations. Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff. The attorney leading the independent investigation has been conducting interviews and reviewing documents, and the investigation is still ongoing. We encourage anyone with additional information to call our confidential hotline 1-877-767-7781.
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. We want a workplace where anyone who experiences unwanted behavior feels comfortable in reporting concerns to MPR. Discrimination, harassment, retaliation or other inappropriate behaviors will not be tolerated.
MPR also said it will terminate its entire business relationship with Keillor:
* end distribution and broadcast of The Writer’s Almanac and rebroadcasts of The Best of A Prairie Home Companion hosted by Garrison Keillor;
* change the name of APM’s weekly music and variety program hosted by Chris Thile; and,
* separate from the Pretty Good Goods online catalog and the PrairieHome.org website.
Keillor just wrote a syndicated column that lashed out at the idea of Minnesota Democrat Senator Al Franken resigning over accusations of groping females. NPR reported that Keillor has a history of brushing off sexual harassment:
Howard Mortman, the communications director of C-SPAN, notes that in 1994 Keillor spoke at the Press Club in D.C. and said, among other things, ” A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation.” The crowd was quiet.
“A world without thieves at all will not have entrepreneurs,” Keillor said next, and at that, the crowd laughed.
Keillor started A Prairie Home Companion in 1974 that included “tales of his fictional Minnesota hometown of Lake Wobegon.” From The Washington Post:
The show featured musical acts, folksy humor, parody ads for fake products such as Powdermilk Biscuits and the centerpiece, Keillor delivering a seemingly off-the-cuff monologue, “The News From Lake Wobegon,” in his rich baritone voice.
Keillor bowed out with a final show at the Hollywood Bowl in July 2016 and turned the show over to Thile, a mandolinist and frequent “Prairie Home” guest musician. Keillor went on a 28-city bus tour this summer, vowing it would be his last tour, but he continues on the road with solo shows. Keillor also is finishing a Lake Wobegon screenplay and a memoir about growing up in Minnesota.
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