Longtime public radio host Garrison Keillor was fired Wednesday from Minnesota Public Radio for “improper behavior.”
MPR News released a statement Wednesday saying it received reports last month of Keillor behaving inappropriately with someone who worked with him while he was producing A Prairie Home Companion, the weekly radio show he formerly hosted.
“MPR is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies,” the statement says. MPR said an investigation is being conducted and so far no similar instances have been found. However, in an email from Keillor to MPR News Wednesday, Keillor indicated that two employees had made allegations against him.
“MPR takes these allegations seriously and we are committed to maintaining a safe, respectful and supportive work environment for all employees and everyone associated with MPR,” the company statement said. “We want a workplace where anyone who experiences unwanted behavior feels comfortable in reporting concerns to MPR. Discrimination, harassment, retaliation or other inappropriate behaviors will not be tolerated.”
MPR said it will stop airing A Prairie Home Companion episodes with Keillor as the host and change the name of the program.
Keillor told the Associated Press that he was fired over an op-ed story he wrote for the Washington Post, which poked fun at Minnesota Sen. Al Franken‘s groping incident and said it would be absurd for him to resign over it.
“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 told the AP. “And I cannot in conscience bring danger to a great organization I’ve worked hard for sine 1969.”
Jon McTaggart, president of MPR, said, “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.”
McTaggart said MPR believes firing Keillor is the right decision.