In the wake of last week’s sexual harassment headlines surrounding Al Franken, PBS is cutting the U.S. Senator and “Saturday Night Live” alum from their taped broadcast of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize ceremony for David Letterman.
The tribute, which will air on PBS on Monday night, took place in Washington D.C. on Oct. 23 and saw several of Letterman’s peers, including Franken, give tributes to the former “Late Show” host. PBS says it will edit Franken’s speech out of the broadcast, saying in a statement that “PBS and WETA, the producing station, felt that the inclusion of Senator 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.”
Franken will still be seen at the end of the broadcast, when he joined all the evening’s speakers on stage with Letterman to close the show.
Last Thursday, model and sports commentator Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her in 2006 during a USO tour, also publishing a picture that appeared to show him groping her while she was sleeping. Franken apologized for the incident and called on Congress to start an investigation into his behavior. Tweeden accepted the apology.