Garrison Keillor Pulled from PBS Series, ‘Finding Your Roots’

Garrison Keillor was scheduled to be part of the season finale of PBS’s Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. But in light of allegations of inappropriate behavior towards a co-worker at Prairie Home Companion, Keillor’s segment is being removed.

The “Funny Business” episode, scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, was to spotlight Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Keillor. Now the segment with the legendary broadcaster will be replaced by a repeat featuring Maya Rudolph.

A statement released by Minnesota Public Radio says it learned of the allegations in October and has retained an outside law firm to investigate them. That investigation is ongoing.


Rats – i like him (not keen on dirty old men, but . . . these days . . . everyone male (and over about age 10) seems to qualify!)


The poor guy has been neither indicted nor convicted. I am much more interested in learning about his family than watching a rerun. OPB disappoints me with the decision.


    That “poor guy” effectively admitted his behavior and said he doesn’t feel bad about it. I look forward to seeing Maya’s story again.


    I am with Karen and the others – Keillor “may’ [still under investigation] have been inappropriate which I am NOT excusing but the program is about genealogy and not about current mores and attitudes. I am sorry they bowed to pressure…


I wish they would re-edit the program and just cut him out. I would love to see the other two families discussed in that episode. They are being penalized for his wrong doing.


    Karen T. – They are not replacing the entire episode. They are deleting his segment and replacing it with a repeat segment of someone else. Re-read the article.


This recent spat of ending people’s careers by using today’s standards on behavior exhibited decades ago has me greatly worried. I’m also worried about the incredibly broad brush that is being used to paint all men as abhorrent sexual predators when one may have abused children and another may have only used their position to used suggested sexual language with no actual action. Neither is acceptable but the two are vastly different. And removing someone from this segment is part of the broad brush that is being used to erase all mention of the men who stand accused. It’s just too much.

Liked by 2 people

    I agree with most of Roger’s argument. There is indeed a difference, and we should be sensitive to that. I have no problem with PBS cancelling Prarie Home Companion, but I would have enjoyed being able to see the process used by Skip Gates’ show to find his ancestors. I am also old enough to remember the tactics used by The USSR when someone fell out of favor. That individual became an “unperson”, and his name would be removed from all textbooks. Any mention of the individual anywhere was scrubbed. I don’t think that we should aspire to become more like The Soviet Union.

    Liked by 1 person

I’m disappointed how what was once a very interesting program has now become politicized. I’ve stopped watching.


    IMO Gates inclines toward a bias against the White race and it is very obvious. I realize it is politically correct but I’m weary of his bashing Whites because of long past slavery. And I’m weary of celebrities being selected as subjects for genealogical searches. Too much adulation of overpaid celebrities.
    Further, when a male is accused by a female of undue familiarity it is totally contrary to our system of justice just to accept her word with little or no serious investigation. Innocent until proven guilty should be the watchword.


I was really looking forward to Garrison’s segment and am extremely disappointed in MPR’s and PBS’s knee jerk reaction to fire Keillor and then dropping PHC and FYR based on unsubstantiated allegations. When did we switch from “innocent until proven guilty” to “guilty by accusation”? And when did an isolated incident that was admitted and forgiven turn into a pattern of abuse? Give someone a “time-out”, a “suspension” as in the sports world until guilt has been proven and a pattern of abuse has been established rather than the “quick fix” of rushing to judgement and “washing of hands” when someone’s life-work is destroyed. Through all this necessary examination of #MeToo my hope is that clearer heads will prevail and perhaps PBS will at some point show the Keillor segment. In the meantime, do you know where I might get a rogue copy of it?


    R. L. Riddile, D. Min. December 21, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Dr. Kaufman,
    Thank you for expressing so succinctly all I have been thinking about this situation.
    I have decided to abide by the rules of preemptive reactivity implied by the decisions of MPR and the producers of FYR–at least temporarily (I hope). I have instructed my local PBS and NPR affiliate (KERA in Dallas), to suspend my decades-old sustaining membership until there is either public validation or invalidation of the allegations leveled against Keillor, and/or until KERA ceases broadcast of content provided by MPR and the producers of FYR.
    In the meantime, as I don’t intend to watch or listen to content for which I’m not paying, as that would be unfair, I’ve removed the local PBS channel from the presets on my TV, and the NPR-affiliated radio stations from the presets on my cars’ radios.
    I’m also trying to figure out who to tell I’ve done all this at the corporate underwriters of FYR (Genersl Electric and AT&T I think).


PBS and programmers for FYR have an impossible task when it comes to decisions like this, especially when audiences are polarized. They have to ask: “If we allow Garrison Keillor, what about Charlie Rose? If we give them a pass what about Larry Nassar (before being indicted)? What about former Sen. Al Franken?” I certainly wouldn’t want to second guess their decision.


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