Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is cutting all ties with famed radio star Garrison Keillor after allegations of inappropriate behavior, according to a Wednesday announcement.
Keillor’s award-winning show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” will be getting a name change under its new host Chris Thile. MPR’s parent company, American Public Media (APM), will also end all rebroadcasts of the program, as well as end distribution of “The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor.”
Such moves represent a particularly dramatic response to the allegations against the 75-year-old storyteller. MPR will also “separate” from Keillor’s “Pretty Good Goods online catalogue” as well as the PrairieHome.org website.
While APM wouldn’t comment on the exact nature of the allegations, Keillor released a statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune saying “I put my hand on a woman’s bare back. 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. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called,” he continued.
MPR also released its own statement saying the company had “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 company is also asking the public to call a confidential hotline for any additional information on Keillor’s conduct.
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