Minneapolis • A group of women who worked alongside Al Franken on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" have signed a statement of support for the Minnesota senator.
Last week, broadcaster Leeann Tweeden accused Franken, a Democrat, of forcibly kissing her during a USO tour in 2006. Another woman says he placed his hand on her buttocks while posing for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.
Thirty-six women signed the SNL statement supporting Franken, including performers Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, and many behind-the-scenes staff.
The statement released Friday calls Franken's conduct toward Tweeden "stupid and foolish," but says the women know Franken as "a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant." It says none of the women have ever experienced improper behavior from Franken.
In full, the statement reads as follows:
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.
We send our support and gratitude to Al and his family this Thanksgiving and holiday season.
1. Jill Baylor, Production Assistant,1991-92
2. Shannon Gaughan Bowman, Writer, 1988-89
3. Beth Einhorn, Script PA,1987-1988
4. Cindy Caponera, Writer, 1995-98
5. Jane Curtin, Not Ready for Prime Time Player, original cast, 1975-80
6. Tracy Cooper Drippe, Script PA/ Script Supervisor,1986-1991
7. Suzy Drasnin, Production Staff/Photographer,1986-90
8. Juli Pari Frankel, Script PA, 1984-1985
9. Julia Fraser, Script Supervisor, 1978-1985
10. Tara Gardner, Writers Assistant, 1990-95
11. Iris March Gross, Broadway Video/SNL 1977-1985
12. Marcy Hardart, Assistant to Lorne Michaels, 1987-1990
13. Lori Jo Hoekstra, Writer’s Assistant/Weekend Update Producer, 1990-1998
14. Sheila Kehoe, Costume Dept, 1976-82
15. Marci Klein, Co-Producer, 1989-2014
16. Franne Lee, Costume Designer, 1975-80
17. Laila Nabulsi, Schiller’s Reel 1975-79; Associate Producer, 1985-1986
18. Laraine Newman, Not Ready for Prime Time Player, original cast, 1975-80
19. Mary Ellen Mathews, Show Photographer, 1993- present
20. Cristina McGinniss, Assistant to Lorne Michaels (25 years);Broadway Video,1979 - present
21. Marilyn Suzanne Miller, Writer, 1975 -1994 (intermittently)
22. Dinah Minot, Associate Producer,1985-1989; Co-Producer, Broadway Pictures,1989-96
23. Evie Murray, Assistant to Lorne Michaels & consultant, 1983-1994
24. Sarah Paley, Writer, 1979-80 (& The New Show 1981-82)
25. Sandra Restrepo Considine, Script Supervisor/PA - 1987-1993
26. Suzanne Rosenberg, Coordinating Producer/Weekend Update, 1983-2003
27. Suzanne Ross, Script PA, 1991-1993
28. Karen Roston, Costume Designer, 1975-1983
29. Mary Salter, Film Producer, 1977-1987
30. Claire Shirey, Script Coordinator, 1982-present
31. Rosie Shuster, Writer, 1975-1980;1984-88
32. Kiki Kazanas Steele, Script PA/Script Supervisor, 1985-1990
33. Pam Thomas, Consultant, 1980s
34. Bonnie Turner, Writer, 1986-1993
35. Christine Zander, Writer,1987-1993
36. Liz Welch, Talent Coordinator,1981-89