MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO has learned an appearance featuring Garrison Keillor has been called off.

In 2017, a co-worker accused Keillor, the mastermind behind the long-running Minnesota Public Radio show “A Prairie Home Companion,” of sexual misconduct. MPR severed ties with him, but Keillor has maintained his stance that he was part of a consensual relationship.

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Keillor talked to WCCO about his legendary radio program back in 2015.

“It started out really as kind of lazy satire, and then it developed into more of a story, sometimes more of an essay,” Keillor said.

As bold as his climb was, his descent was fast. He is now performing solo, appearing at the Dakota Jazz Club this week.

But it was an upcoming performance that caused concern online. Keillor was set to perform at a fundraiser at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis.

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WCCO talked to communication coach Roshini Rajkumar, who works with executives in crisis.

“What would have happened if they invited him and he said no? That would have erupted in its own controversy,” Rajkumar said. “So in this situation … there’s no winning situation.”

In a short statement, Keillor told WCCO he was invited and he accepted.

“If you find yourself in crisis, the best first step is to be a good ambassador for your brand,” Rajkumar said. “And if your brand has been tarnished, which his was, the only way you can resurrect it is to handle issues head-on.”

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After this story aired early Wednesday evening, WCCO was told Keillor would no longer be featured at the event.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield