In the first Prairie Home Companion broadcast since longtime host Garrison Keillor was fired from Minnesota Public Radio, his successor said the allegations inappropriate behavior were “heartbreaking news.”
“Before we begin the show today, I want to take a moment to address something which you’ve probably heard about by now — which is (Minnesota Public Radio’s) severing ties with Garrison Keillor over allegations of inappropriate behavior,” host Chris Thile said Saturday during a live broadcast from New York. “This is, of course, heartbreaking news.”
Keillor, 75, was fired by Minnesota Public Radio on Wednesday after a woman made allegations of “inappropriate behavior.” In an emailed statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he said he put his hand on a woman’s bare back to comfort her and apologized after she recoiled. “I’m in shock,” Thile tweeted soon after Keillor was fired on Wednesday. “I know nothing beyond what’s contained in the statement below, but I trust that the proper steps are being taken.”
Keillor retired from “Prairie Home Companion” in 2016 after more than 40 years, but continued to work with public radio on other projects, including The Writer’s Almanac.
During Saturday’s broadcast, Thile – Keillor’s handpicked successor – addressed the broader context of the issue, referencing the dozens of men in media, Hollywood, politics and business facing accusations of sexual harassment and assault.
“Today, we are in the middle of a national movement, which I believe represents progress. We’re recognizing the harmful power imbalance that women have had to endure for so long in our culture,” Thile said. “My sincere hope is that, with awareness, will come improvement.”