UPDATE: In an email to the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Wednesday, radio personality Garrison Keillor said the inappropriate behavior cited as the reason for his firing from Minnesota Public Radio was intended as a friendly gesture. Keillor said he put his hand on a woman’s back in an effort to console her. “Her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized,” wrote Keillor, adding, “I sent her an email of apology later and she replied she had forgiven me and not to think about it.” Keillor said they remained friends after the incident, “right up until her lawyer called.”
OUR EARLIER REPORT (1:35 p.m.): Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) announced Wednesday it had fired Garrison Keillor, the former host of A Prairie Home Companion, over accusations of improper behavior with “an individual who worked with him.” Keillor, 75, told the Associated Press he was terminated over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” He didn’t give details of the accusations, nor did MPR, which said in a statement it received a single report of “inappropriate behavior” and didn’t know of any other similar accusations. MPR spokeswoman Angie Andresen said MPR would cut all ties with Keillor, including changing the name of A Prairie Home Companion, now hosted by Keillor’s hand-picked successor Chris Thile, and ending distribution and rebroadcasts of past programs hosted by Keillor, who retired as host in 2016. MPR also will cease distribution and broadcasts of Keillor’s current program, The Writer’s Almanac. “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,” Andresen said. News of his firing came shortly after The Washington Post published a column written by Keillor that ridiculed the idea that Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., should resign over accusations of sexual harassment.
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Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.