MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Former Minnesota Public Radio personality Garrison Keillor is responding to the University of Minnesota’s decision to take down his plaque on the Scholars Walk.
In late 2017, MPR cut ties with the humorist, best known for the popular public radio show “A Prairie Home Companion”, after allegations of workplace misconduct.
MPR said in a statement that Keillor was accused by a woman who worked on his “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show of dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents over several years, including requests for sexual contact and explicit sexual communications and touching.
And on Sunday, the Minnesota Daily reported the University of Minnesota removed Keillor’s plaque from the Scholars Walk. A university representative said it was removed on Friday, Jan. 19.
In a letter submitted to the editor shortly after the story ran, Keillor responded to the move. Here’s the letter in its entirety:
“It’s odd to be punished by having something taken away that you never wanted in the first place, like when my mother sent me to my room for being sassy. I loved my room, all my books were there, I had no interest in going outdoors. And that’s how I feel about being removed from the Scholars Walk at the University because I’ve been accused of “inappropriate behavior” by Minnesota Public Radio. I looked at the Scholars Walk once and was embarrassed to be in it.
“I’m a writer, not a scholar, and writers don’t need plaques: we write books and if you wish you can read one, good luck and God bless. I wrote a slew of novels, essays, poems, have a collection of limericks on the way and am at work on a novella, “Inappropriate Behavior.” As for the accusation, it is very far from the truth: what I am guilty of was friendship, not harassment. I believe I know the difference. As for the University, I wish you all a long and happy and productive life, and if you have that, plaques don’t matter. Go to your room. Do your work.”
Keillor graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1966.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)