STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Update: Garrison Keillor fired, says he put hand on woman's back

"A person could not hope for more than what I was given," he said.

Posted: Nov 29, 2017 11:25 AM
Updated: Nov 29, 2017 1:59 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 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 didn't detail the allegation to AP, but in an email to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he said the incident involved putting his hand on a woman's 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."
Keillor didn't say when the incident occurred.
Minnesota Public Radio confirmed it had terminated contracts with Keillor after receiving a single allegation against him last month of "inappropriate behavior." MPR said the allegation stemmed from Keillor's conduct when he was producing and hosting "A Prairie Home Companion." MPR said it knew of no other allegations but had retained an outside law firm that continues to investigate.
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 I'm 75 and don't have any interest in arguing about this. And I cannot in conscience bring danger to a great organization I've 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.
MPR also said the name of the show, produced and distributed nationwide by American Public Media, would be changed. The show has been named "A Prairie Home Companion" for more than 40 years. MPR also said it will end distribution of "The Writer's Almanac," Keillor's daily reading of a poem and telling of literary events, and end rebroadcasts of "The Best of A Prairie Home Companion" hosted by Keillor.
Keillor started "A Prairie Home Companion" as a Saturday evening show in 1974, featuring tales of his fictional Minnesota hometown of Lake Wobegon "where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."
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.
"A person could not hope for more than what I was given," Keillor said in his statement Wednesday to AP.
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 had still produced the radio show, "The Writer's Almanac," for syndication. He is finishing a Lake Wobegon screenplay and a memoir about growing up in Minnesota.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 456490

Reported Deaths: 6174
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin947071506
Ramsey40752750
Dakota33684355
Anoka31437368
Washington20627237
Stearns18137190
St. Louis14032251
Scott1224899
Wright11831107
Olmsted1085175
Sherburne831970
Carver706139
Clay661384
Rice625674
Kandiyohi559172
Blue Earth549633
Crow Wing491178
Otter Tail465468
Chisago461838
Benton424388
Winona395648
Douglas380366
Nobles374847
Mower374729
Goodhue359163
Polk330860
McLeod328947
Beltrami316648
Morrison314845
Lyon306340
Becker290039
Itasca288043
Isanti286543
Carlton285243
Steele279610
Pine270815
Freeborn254923
Todd233730
Nicollet230938
Brown219134
Mille Lacs216145
Le Sueur215016
Cass211024
Meeker201733
Waseca193916
Wabasha17493
Martin172126
Roseau166617
Hubbard151438
Redwood141427
Houston141114
Dodge14014
Renville138740
Chippewa133432
Cottonwood129218
Fillmore12838
Wadena120918
Rock112212
Aitkin111633
Faribault110316
Sibley11017
Watonwan10708
Pennington101316
Kanabec100118
Pipestone97523
Yellow Medicine95017
Murray9137
Jackson87510
Swift84718
Pope7485
Stevens7078
Marshall70315
Clearwater68814
Lake66515
Lac qui Parle66116
Wilkin63510
Koochiching61010
Lincoln4912
Big Stone4703
Grant4398
Unassigned43568
Norman4268
Mahnomen4177
Kittson37420
Red Lake3214
Traverse2673
Lake of the Woods1991
Cook1160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313284

Reported Deaths: 4437
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk47198465
Linn18187280
Scott15975172
Black Hawk14184243
Woodbury13161181
Johnson1234453
Dubuque11678159
Pottawattamie9204115
Dallas915472
Story886638
Cerro Gordo476172
Webster475077
Warren463939
Clinton461068
Sioux460757
Marshall433262
Buena Vista397731
Muscatine397379
Des Moines396243
Plymouth354270
Wapello353098
Jasper335159
Lee327132
Marion312253
Jones275650
Henry269931
Carroll258934
Bremer251048
Crawford235524
Boone224717
Washington224333
Benton214550
Mahaska198937
Jackson196532
Tama191659
Dickinson189429
Kossuth182244
Delaware177736
Clay173421
Wright167824
Fayette166824
Buchanan162924
Hamilton162930
Winneshiek161420
Harrison159162
Hardin158731
Cedar156819
Clayton154349
Butler152524
Page148715
Floyd142036
Cherokee140527
Mills139017
Lyon138233
Poweshiek136024
Hancock133024
Allamakee131630
Iowa128522
Madison126210
Calhoun12409
Grundy123428
Winnebago123329
Jefferson122625
Mitchell117337
Louisa116830
Cass115443
Chickasaw114012
Appanoose113340
Sac113215
Union112823
Emmet111332
Shelby108027
Humboldt107819
Guthrie104624
Franklin104018
Unassigned10290
Palo Alto92611
Montgomery90024
Keokuk86526
Howard86419
Monroe82820
Clarke8219
Pocahontas78811
Ida76930
Davis70421
Adair69820
Greene6987
Monona69618
Lucas67110
Osceola65011
Worth6224
Taylor6029
Fremont5296
Van Buren50615
Decatur5004
Ringgold46311
Audubon4278
Wayne42021
Adams3023
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Partly Cloudy
10° wxIcon
Hi: 18° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: 10°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: -2°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: 7°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 9°
Charles City
Cloudy
10° wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: -2°
Cold and dry through Friday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Gov. Walz unveils state budget proposal

Image

St. Charles starts season strong

Image

The threat of cyber-crime remains powerful

Image

Tuesday's local highlights and scores

Image

Just for Kix's "virtual" Winter recital

Image

New grant available for Iowa bars and restaurants

Image

Is hydrogen the future of fuel in Minnesota?

Image

Gov. Walz unveils two-year state budget proposal

Image

Pandemic impact on youth suicide

Image

Bernie Sanders Mittens

Community Events