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Thursday September 19th, 2019 12:26AM

The Latest: Keillor concert canceled in Massachusetts

By The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the firing of Garrison Keillor over an allegation of inappropriate behavior (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

A concert featuring Garrison Keillor has been cancelled in Massachusetts in the wake of the entertainer being fired from Minnesota Public Radio on an allegation of improper behavior.

Keillor was slated to appear in Pittsfield with the folk duo Robin and Linda Williams on Wednesday night. The duo were regular guests on Keillor's nationally syndicated public radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion."

The Berkshire Theatre Group posted on its website later Wednesday that the show had been canceled. WAMC Northeast Public Radio had pulled out as a sponsor.

Minnesota Public Radio confirmed earlier Wednesday it terminated contracts with Keillor over a single allegation reported last month.

Keillor says the incident involved putting his hand on a woman's bare back while trying to console her. Keillor says the woman recoiled, he apologized and she later told him she forgave him.

___

3 p.m.

The musician who took over hosting "A Prairie Home Companion" when Garrison Keillor retired last year says he's "in shock" after Keillor was fired over an accusation of improper behavior.

Chris Thile was Keillor's hand-picked successor as host of the popular radio show. Minnesota Public Radio confirmed Wednesday it had terminated contracts with Keillor.

Thile later tweeted that he knew nothing about the accusation. The mandolinist says he trusts "that the proper steps are being taken." MPR says an outside law firm is investigating.

A longtime voice actor on the show also says she never saw inappropriate behavior by Keillor. Sue Scott was an actress on the show for 24 years. She tells The Associated Press she's stunned by Keillor's firing.

Keillor says he was fired because he put his hand on a woman's bare back as he tried to console her. Keillor says the woman recoiled, he apologized and she later told him she forgave him.

___

2 p.m.

An allegation of improper behavior by former "Prairie Home Companion" host Garrison Keillor is shocking his fans.

Minnesota Public Radio terminated its contracts with Keillor for what they called an allegation of inappropriate behavior. Keillor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he touched a woman's bare back as he tried to console her, and he apologized when she recoiled.

Among the local fans shocked by the news was Cindy Dina. The suburban Minneapolis woman says she admired Keillor and frequently listened to his show. She says she hopes the continuous allegations against high-profile men accused of misconduct sends a strong message to others.

Kathy Wallace says wasn't a big fan of Keillor's show but knew his name well as a cultural icon in Minnesota. She says his firing caught her off guard.

___

1:05 p.m.

Garrison Keillor says he was fired because he put his hand on a woman's bare back as he tried to console her.

The longtime radio host announced Wednesday he'd been fired by Minnesota Public Radio. Keillor retired from his popular show, "A Prairie Home Companion," last year but had still worked for MPR on a variety of projects.

Keillor tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune in an email that he was trying to pat the woman's back after she had told him "about her unhappiness." Keillor wrote that the woman's shirt was open and his hand went up about 6 inches.

Keillor says he apologized when the woman recoiled, and also emailed the woman an apology. He says she replied she'd forgiven him and "not to think about it."

Keillor says he considered her a friend and they remained friendly "right up until her lawyer called."

MPR declined to give any detail of the allegation against Keillor.

___

12:30 p.m.

Minnesota Public Radio is telling members it was "the right thing to do" to fire Garrison Keillor.

MPR depends heavily on member support. It sent note to supporters after Wednesday's firing was announced, saying the organization appreciates Keillor's contributions to the network "and to all of public radio."

The statement was signed by MPR President Jon McTaggart. It says the firing was necessary "to continue to earn your trust."

Neither MPR nor Keillor has released details about the allegation. MPR says it is a single allegation last month from a person who worked with Keillor while he was producing "A Prairie Home Companion."

Keillor retired from the show last year.

___

12:15 p.m.

Garrison Keillor says he's been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over a story that is "more complicated" than the version his employer heard.

MPR confirmed Wednesday that it fired Keillor after he was accused of "inappropriate behavior" last month by a person who had worked with him.

Neither MPR nor Keillor has given any details about the allegation. MPR says it's still investigating but currently has no other allegations against Keillor.

He retired last year as host of his signature "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show, but had continued working with MPR on other projects.

Keillor says he's deeply grateful for his years on the radio show. He says he's 75 and doesn't "have any interest in arguing about this."

___

11:50 a.m.

Minnesota Public Radio has confirmed it fired Garrison Keillor after he was accused of inappropriate behavior.

MPR says the allegation came last month from a person who worked with Keillor. MPR gave no details, but said it has no other similar allegations involving other staff.

MPR says an investigation is ongoing.

Keillor first announced his firing in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday. He says he was fired over "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard." But he didn't provide any details.

MPR says it will no longer rebroadcast any Keillor-hosted editions of "A Prairie Home Companion." Keillor retired from the show last year. MPR also says it will change the name of the show, which is now hosted by Chris Thile.

___

11:22 a.m.

Garrison Keillor, the former host of "A Prairie Home Companion," says he's been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of improper behavior.

Keillor told The Associated Press of his firing in an email. In a follow-up statement, he says he was fired over "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard."

He didn't give details of the allegation. Minnesota Public Radio didn't immediately respond to messages.

Keillor retired last year from his longtime radio show, but still produced "The Writer's Almanac" for syndication.

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