Women On SNL Staff: Franken Never Acted Inappropriately Toward Any Of Us!

Bill Clark/CQPHO

A group of 36 women who worked with Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) during his tenure at “Saturday Night Live” said on Tuesday that the senator and former comedian never behaved inappropriately toward any of them.

The SNL staffers wrote in a letter that Franken’s alleged behavior toward LA radio host Leeann Tweeden in 2006 was “foolish” and “stupid,” but said they felt “compelled to stand up” for the senator because Franken never behaved that way toward any of them.

“We would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior; and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each of us with the utmost respect and regard,” the staffers wrote.

The staffers said they wanted to “quickly and directly affirm” that they had never felt disrespected by Franken in the years they’d worked with him on the show.

“We think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms. Tweeden, and to the public,” the staffers wrote. “In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant.”

Franken worked as a writer and performer on SNL from 1975 to 1980 and 1985 to 1995, according to NBC News. He assumed office as a senator in 2009.

Two women came forward in the last week with allegations of sexual misconduct against Franken. Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her, and groping her when she was asleep, when the two were performing together on a USO tour in 2006, before Franken was elected to the Senate.

Franken apologized publicly to Tweeden in two separate statements and asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the incident.

On Monday, a second woman, Lindsay Menz, came forward with allegations against Franken. Menz told CNN that Franken groped her while the two took a photo together at a state fair in 2010, after the senator took office.

Franken said he didn’t remember taking the photo, but said he felt bad that she left their interaction “feeling disrespected.”

A spokesperson for Franken on Sunday said the senator has no plans to resign.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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