×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Al Franken Cut From PBS’ David Letterman Special

In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against Senator Al Franken, PBS has decided to cut his tribute from its upcoming special honoring David Letterman.

“PBS and WETA, the producing station, felt that the inclusion of Senator Franken in the broadcast at this time would distract from the show’s purpose as a celebration of American humor,” said PBS in a statement to Variety. “Every year, this program is edited for both length and content to keep it entertaining and focused on its intended purpose as a celebration of American humor.

The special, which was recorded at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 22, features a star-studded cast of Letterman’s friends and colleagues including Jimmy Kimmel, Norm Macdonald, Steve Martin, John Mulaney, Bill Murray, Amy Schumer, Paul Shaffer, Martin Short, Eddie Vedder, Jimmie Walker, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, among others.

“The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Salutes David Letterman” is set to premiere Monday, November 20 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide.

Franken was the subject of sexual harassment allegations after Los Angeles radio Leann Tweeden detailed an instance in which Franken behaved inappropriately during a rehearsal for a skit during a 2006 USO tour.

The former model said the then-comedian insisted on rehearsing a kiss from the sketch, despite Tweeden’s refusal. Tweeden said practicing the bit was unnecessary as she had planned to deny his advances on stage (“I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd”).

“He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable,” Tweeden wrote. “He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”

Tweeden also posted a photo of what appears to be a grinning Franken cupping Tweeden’s breasts while she’s asleep, wearing a vest and helmet. She said the photo was taken without her knowledge on the plane ride home to Los Angeles.

Franken apologized on Thursday, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stating that the Senate Ethics Committee should open an investigation into Franken, despite the fact that he was not a serving Senator at the time of the incident. Tweeden accepted Franken’s apology.

More Biz

  • Making a Murderer

    'Making A Murderer' Detective Sues Netflix for Defamation

    A retired sheriff’s detective sued Netflix for defamation on Monday, alleging that the hit series “Making a Murderer” falsely suggested that he planted evidence to frame a murder suspect. Andrew Colborn filed suit in Manitowoc County Circuit Court in Wisconsin, alleging that he had been subject to “worldwide ridicule, contempt and disdain” since the docuseries [...]

  • Yael Stone Geoffrey Rush

    'OITNB' Actress Yael Stone Accuses Geoffrey Rush of Sexual Harassment

    In a New York Times article published Sunday, “Orange Is the New Black” actress Yael Stone alleged that Geoffrey Rush harassed her numerous times while they both worked on a theater production in 2010. She said he exposed himself to her, sent her sexually suggestive text messages, and used a mirror to spy on her [...]

  • Laura Donnelly

    CAA Signs 'Ferryman' Actress Laura Donnelly (EXCLUSIVE)

    CAA has inked Laura Donnelly for representation. Donnelly, who was most recently represented by ICM Partners, won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for best actress this year for her performance in Jez Butterworth’s play “The Ferryman,” directed by Oscar and Tony winner Sam Mendes. Since opening in October, the production has also received two more [...]

  • Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS CorporationAllen

    Moonves Lawyer: CBS Investigation Was 'Foreordained' With 'Baseless Conclusions'

    A lawyer for Leslie Moonves has blasted the conclusions of the CBS internal investigation that cost the former CBS Corp. chairman-CEO the $120 million severance package he was due prior to his Sept. 9 ouster amid a swirl of sexual misconduct allegations. Moonves continues to assert that his workplace-related sexual encounters were consensual, despite numerous [...]

  • California to Launch Program for Individuals

    California to Launch State Program for Individuals With Disabilities

    California state treasurer John Chiang is joining both state and local leaders Wednesday to launch CalABLE, a new state program that will allow individuals with disabilities to open tax-advantaged savings and investment accounts. Previously, public benefits for people with disabilities restricted savings to $2000 per year, but under the new CalABLE program, eligible individuals will [...]

  • Sumner Redstone

    Judge Appoints Legal Guardian, Britney Spears' Former Conservator, for Sumner Redstone

    A probate judge on Monday appointed an independent legal guardian to represent Sumner Redstone, finding he is incapable of representing his interests in a trust battle with his former companion. Redstone, the chairman of National Amusements, Inc., is 95 and suffers from severe speech impairment and diminished mental faculties. Judge David Cowan appointed probate attorney [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content