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Former Prairie Home Companion Host Garrison Keillor Fired Over Alleged Improper Behavior

From TIME - November 29, 2017

(MINNEAPOLIS)Garrison Keillor, the former host of A Prairie Home Companion, said Wednesday he has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of what the network called improper behavior.

Keillor told The Associated Press of his firing in an email. In a follow-up statement, he said he was fired over a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.

Keillor didnt detail the allegation to AP, but in an email to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Keillor said he had put his hand on a womans bare back in an attempt to console her.

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. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it, Keillor told the newspaper. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.

Minnesota Public Radio confirmed Keillor had been fired, saying it received a single allegation against Keillor about inappropriate behavior and didnt know of any other allegations. MPR said it was notified of the allegation last month and that it stemmed from Keillors conduct when he was responsible for producing A Prairie Home Companion.

In his statement to AP, Keillor said it was poetic irony to be knocked off the air by a story, having told so many of them myself. But Im 75 and dont have any interest in arguing about this. And I cannot in conscience bring danger to a great organization Ive worked hard for since 1969.

Keillor retired as host of the long-running public radio variety show in 2016. His hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile, is in his second season as Prairie Home host. After Keillor retired, he continued to work with MPR on other projects.

The firing Wednesday came shortly after Keillor, an avowed Democrat, wrote a syndicated column that ridiculed the idea that Sen. Al Franken should resign over allegations of sexual harassment.

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