Hours after NBC fired Matt Lauer for "inappropriate sexual behavior," the Associated Press reports that Keillor, 75, was sacked by Minnesota Public Radio Wednesday "over allegations of inappropriate behavior".
Keillor told the Associated Press of his firing in an email.
"It's some sort of 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".
Keillor said Wednesday in an e-mail to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the alleged incident involved him touching "a woman's bare back". MPR confirmed Keillor's termination to the AP, writing in a statement that it is, "terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him".
Keillor retired as host of Prairie Home in 2016 and was succeeded by the show's former mandolinist, Chris Thile, but still continued to work.
He said he apologized when the woman recoiled, and also emailed the woman an apology. MPR said the allegation stemmed from Keillor's conduct when he was producing and hosting "A Prairie Home Companion".
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MPR said it retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the allegation against Keillor.
Jon McTaggart, the President of MPR, gave his own thoughts in the press release, saying that, "Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances". "Based on what we now know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff", the statement said.
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".
"Based on what we now know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff", MPR added.
The firing Wednesday came shortly after Keillor, an avowed Democrat, wrote a syndicated column that ridiculed the idea that Sen.
"On the flight home [from a USO show], in a spirit of low comedy, Al ogled [Leann] Tweeden and pretended to grab her and a picture was taken", Keillor wrote. This is pure absurdity, and the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness. Neither MPR nor Keillor has given any details about the allegation.