It has been a rough week for Sen. Al Franken, as two women have now come out with sexual misconduct allegations against the former Saturday Night Live cast member. Despite those groping allegations, some women of Saturday Night Live, 36 of them to be exact, have released a statement to show their support for their Franken.
Franken, a comic-turned-senator, spent a total of 15 years on Saturday Night Live as both a writer and a performer. Last week, Franken faced sexual misconduct accusations by KABC radio anchor Leeann Tweeden. She claimed that Franken groped her and kissed her without her consent during a USO tour they were on together back in 2006. To back up her claims, Tweeden even released a photo of Franken appearing to grab her breasts while she was sleeping. Since those allegations came out, Franken has apologized and Tweeden accepted the apology.
Since then, a second woman has come forward and claimed that Franken placed his hand on her behind while posing for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, when Franken was an elected official. In response to these allegations, the Hollywood Reporter reported that Franken said he did not remember taking the photo with the woman, but that he felt “badly” that she felt disrespected.
This is where the women of SNL step into the picture, as they released a statement today showing their support for Al Franken. The statement was signed by all 36 women, which included “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman.
“We feel compelled to stand up for Al Franken, whom we have all had the pleasure of working with over the years on Saturday Night Live (SNL). What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms. Tweeden, and to the public. In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant. 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.”
A source told the Hollywood Reporter that SNL was not involved or aware of the statement that was made. The statement was created by one of the women who worked with Franken 30 years ago.
While the women showed their support, the current cast of Saturday Night Live did not hold back when talking about Franken on last week’s episode. During Weekend Update, Colin Jost said, “Now, I know this photo looks bad, but remember — it also is bad.” He did not stop there, which you can see in the clip below.
You can read the full statement and see who signed it over at the Hollywood Reporter.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]