Thirty-six women who had worked with Al Franken on Saturday Night Live have come forward to show support for the comic-turned-senator, amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Franken, who worked on SNL as a writer and performer for fifteen years before entering politics, recently joined the growing list of men accused of sexual harassment: KABC radio anchor Leann Tweeden claimed that Franken had groped her and kissed her without consent during a USO tour eleven years ago, and even released a photo of the Minnesota senator inappropriately touching her while she was sleeping.
Al Franken Responds To Accusations Of Sexual Misconduct
Franken responded to the allegations, originally telling reporters that he didn’t remember the incident, before releasing an actual apology:
The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There's more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it's the only thing you care to hear, that's fine—is: I'm sorry.
I respect women. I don't respect men who don't. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.
But I want to say something else, too. Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women.
Franken added that he would fully cooperate with an ethics investigation into the incident.
Female Former Saturday Night Live Staffers Express Support
In response to the allegations, former SNL staffers, including Marci Klein, Jane Curtin, and Loraine Newman, released a statement of their own, expressing solidarity with Franken. “We feel compelled,” the letter begins, “to stand up for Al Franken, whom we have had the pleasure of working with over the years on Saturday Night Live (SNL).”
Read the rest here:
What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms. Tweeden, and to the public. In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant. That is why we are moved to quickly and directly affirm that after years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior; and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each of us with the utmost respect and regard.
We send our support and gratitude to Al and his family this Thanksgiving and holiday season.