36 Former ‘SNL’ Staffers Sign Statement Supporting Al Franken Amid Multiple Groping Allegations

Leeann Tweeden

Three dozen female Saturday Night Live cast and crew members, who worked alongside Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, signed a statement “offering solidarity in support” to the embattled lawmaker who’s been accused of groping by multiple women.

“What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms. Tweeden, and to the public,” the statement said of Franken, who was accused last week of groping journalist and talk radio anchor Leeann Tweeden while she was sleeping during a USO tour in 2006. Franken, who Tweeden also accused of forcibly kissing her, apologized to the former model after a photo of the groping emerged last week.

“In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant,” the statement said of Franken, a founding member of SNL’s writing staff and a featured cast member on the long-running NBC show. “That is why we are moved to quickly and directly affirm that after years of working with him, 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.”

AP Photo

In this image provided by the U.S. Army, then-comedian Al Franken and sports commentator Leeann Tweeden perform a comic skit for service members during the USO Sergeant Major of the Army’s 2006 Hope and Freedom Tour in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on Dec. 15, 2006. (Staff Sgt. Patrick N. Moes/U.S. Army via AP)

Fictional character Stuart Smalley invented and performed by comedian Al Franken on NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live.

A photo of the letter, titled “SNL Women Offer Solidarity in Support of Al Franken,” signed by production assistants, writers, producers, and original SNL cast members, appeared on social media Tuesday.

Franken issued two apologies to Tweeden and called for a Senate ethics probe into his own behavior.

“I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate,” he wrote.

Tweeden said in an appearance on CNN that she “gladly accepts” Franken’s apology.

On Monday, however, a Texas woman, Lindsay Menz came forward and claimed that while he was a sitting senator in 2010, Franken groped her while posing for a photo.

In a statement, Franken said that, “I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture.”

“I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected,” Franken said.

On Tuesday, the New York Post published two photographs of Franken appearing to grope Arianna Huffington’s butt and breast during a photo shoot in 2000.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson


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