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Garrison Keillor Once Said a World Without Sexual Harassment Would Be a World Without Flirtation

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Former Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor was fired Wednesday following an allegation of inappropriate behavior during his time on the show. While Minnesota Public Radio did not detail the allegations against Keillor, he told the Minnesota Tribune he had put his hand on a woman’s bare back, leading the woman to recoil. He said he had apologized for the incident.

“If I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie with me and who slipped an arm around me and let it drift down below the beltline, I’d have at least a hundred dollars,” Keillor told the Tribune.

Following the revelation, comments about sexual harassment that Keillor made during a 1994 speech at the National Press Club resurfaced on social media. The comments, in which he claimed that “a world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation,” were made in the context of Keillor discussing Bill Clinton’s presidency.

“When scandal breaks, and we get to see the humanity of the great and the powerful revealed, naked and dumb in front of us, there’s always a cry for new rules or at least some new awareness that will prevent this from ever happening again” he said, according to a video of the remarks broadcast by C-SPAN.

He continued: “We should be careful though, not to make the world so fine and good that you and I can’t enjoy living in it. A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation. A world without thieves will not have entrepreneurs. A government in which there are no friendly connections or favors between politicians and powerful people would be the first in the history of mankind.”

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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com