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At Least 3 NPR Leaders Have Quit Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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Various men in power at National Public Radio (NPR) have stepped down over the past few months in light of multiple accusations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate workplace conduct.

As the #MeToo movement takes off, various current and former female employees accused the chief news editor and the senior vice president of news, among others, of kissing them without consent, giving unwanted gifts and inappropriate touching.

Here are the men, who have either worked at NPR in the past or are affiliated with a member station, who have either been forced to step down or are on leave pending an investigation into the allegations:

1.) Garrison Keillor- Minnesota Public Radio Host

Keillor, best known for “Prairie Home Companion” was fired from NPR’s member station in November after a female co-worker alleged inappropriate contact. Keillor’s show “The Writer’s Almanac” and “The Best of A Prairie Home Companion Hosted by Garrison Keillor” will no longer be featured on MPR, the network said in a statement.

“I put my hand on a woman’s bare back,” Keillor said in his version of events. “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.”

2.) David Sweeney- NPR Chief News Editor 

Sweeney also left NPR in late November after three female journalists filed formal complaints on how Sweeney interacted with them. One of the women alleged Sweeney kissed her while they were in the car on an assignment, while another also accused Sweeney of kissing her at a restaurant.

One editor alleged Sweeney removed her from her position at the news desk after she rebuffed his alleged repeated attempts at contact and gift-giving.

3.) Michael Oreskes – NPR Senior Vice President of News 

Oreskes quit the outlet after two women came forward in a Washington Post report alleging he sexually harassed them while he worked as The New York Times’ Washington, D.C. bureau chief. A current NPR employee also claimed she filed a complaint against Oreskes shortly after he joined NPR.

The NPR chief asked Oreskes to resign, who quickly obliged.

“I am deeply sorry to the people I hurt. My behavior was wrong and inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility,” Oreskes said in a statement.

Another former NPR employee is also facing accusations of sexual harassment. John Hockenberry, a former NPR employee, allegedly sexually harassed various women when he worked on “The Takeaway,” according to a report from New York magazine.

“It horrifies me that I made the talented and driven people I worked with feel uncomfortable, and that the stress around putting together a great show was made worse by my behavior,” Hockenberry said of the allegations.

“We encourage people to come forward with any concerns they may have about situations that have made them feel uncomfortable and we review them thoroughly to ensure a safe, comfortable and productive work environment,” NPR said of Oreskes and Sweeney in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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