November 29, 2017 10:47 PM
Sue Scott acted on "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor for 24 years.
She describes the show's host as candid, adding right now she has no reason to doubt him. Still, she's waiting until more facts come out to form any opinion.
News broke Wednesday that Minnesota Public Radio had severed all ties to Keillor - who retired from his popular variety show in 2016 - over allegations of inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.
"I've never seen anything that I would say was inappropriate ever with anybody on the radio show - including Garrison," Scott said.
A prominent part of the show for decades, Scott spent Wednesday working to learn more about the accusations raised against her longtime co-worker and friend.
"It's all about doing this brand-new show every weekend, so all the focus was on that," she said, describing the atmosphere while she worked on the show.
The claims that Keillor allegedly inappropriately touched a woman were unexpected, as was Minnesota Public Radio's response to fire the beloved radio show host.
"I don't at all understand with the information that I have currently about Garrison Keillor," said Susan Strauss, an expert witness,investigator and consultant in harassment. "To me, that does not even ring the bell of sexual harassment."
She's basing that opinion on Keiller's own account of the interaction in question, as that's the only side of the story that's currently been made public.
Keillor told the Star Tribune in an email Wednesday that the allegation he faces involved him attempting to pat a woman's back after she had told him "about her unhappiness." Keillor wrote that the woman's shirt was open in back and his hand went up about six inches. Keillor told the newspaper he apologized when the woman "recoiled," and also emailed the woman an apology.
He said she replied that she'd forgiven him and "not to think about it."
"I'm confused until we get more information as to why he might be fired," Strauss said.
MPR said the organization and an outside law firm have been investigating the claim since October - writing "based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff."
However, the investigation is not yet complete. And a hotline is now open urging anyone with more information to come forward.
"I just hope it's being done responsibly," Scott said. "And that people are making these decisions on all ends; the decision to come forward, the decision to sever ties; on both ends I hope it's being done responsibly."
Strauss added that regardless of Keillor's own account, his statements to the public are a missed opportunity.
She said since he has a public amd national stage, this is a time where he could both defend himself and discuss what men's roles should be as a person and not a persona.
Updated: November 29, 2017 10:47 PM
Created: November 29, 2017 09:26 PM
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