Al Franken cancels Atlanta appearance and is cut from a PBS special

Al Franken was to make two appearances tonight, including one in Atlanta, and both are canceled.

The comic turned senator scrapped his planned visit to the Book Festival of the MJCCA to promote his book “Al Franken, Giant of the Senate,”after broadcaster Leeann Tweeden shared allegations of lewd behavior on Franken’s part. The event, which was to have been facilitated by local broadcaster Bill Nigut, had sold out. Festival organizers have contacted ticket holders to say they’ll be presenting options in coming days.

Franken also was to have been part of a previously recorded PBS special honoring David Letterman. In a statement PBS saidthe inclusion of Sen. Franken in the broadcast at this time would distract from the show’s purpose as a celebration of American humor. 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.”

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Tweeden said she and Franken were part of a USO tour in 2006 that included a skit he wrote, during which they were to kiss. She had planned to rebuff him for comic effect, but he demanded they rehearse ahead of time, wrote in an public message posted on social media.

“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,” she wrote. Her post includes a photo of Franken making a lewd gesture next to her while she was asleep.

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