This post has been updated.
The State Theatre of Ithaca said on Thursday that it had cancelled a show by Garrison Keillor scheduled for this weekend, the day after the radio host was fired by Minnesota Public Radio over “inappropriate behavior” with a colleague.
The Minnesota station fired Keillor — who founded and hosted “A Prairie Home Companion” for four decades and “The Writer’s Almanac” since 1993 — saying in a statement on Wednesday that the station had learned “of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with” Keillor, who is 75.
Keillor’s scheduled performance in Massachusetts on Wednesday night was cancelled as well. Dan Smalls Presents, Inc. had promoted the Massachusetts show and the show at the State Theatre of Ithaca on Saturday.
Reached by text message on Wednesday afternoon, Dan Smalls had told The Sun, “when we have a comment we will post it.” Asked on Thursday if he or Keillor had cancelled the show, Smalls said there would be no further information released at this time.
“The Garrison Keillor show scheduled for Saturday, December 2nd at the State Theatre of Ithaca has been cancelled,” the State Theatre said in a Facebook post. “Refunds are available at point of purchase.”
The State Theatre had previously deleted a tweet promoting Keillor’s show after the Ithaca Voice embedded it in a story.
“I put my hand on a woman’s bare back,” Keillor said in an email to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized.”
Keillor said he and the unnamed woman “continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.” On his website, Keillor said, “I’m 75 and don’t have any interest in arguing about this.”
Keillor broadcast live from Cornell’s Bailey Hall on May 31, 1997, along with 20 members of the Cornell Glee Club in front of a 2,000-person audience, according to Ithaca Journal archives.
“This is a town where one could live one’s whole life and never run out of choices in granola,” The Journal quoted Keillor as saying.
Angie Andresen, director of communications and member and audience services for MPR, said the station had retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation last month. The investigation is ongoing, Andresen said.
MPR and its parent company, American Public Media, which is based in St. Paul, will no longer distribute or broadcast “The Writer’s Almanac” and end any rebroadcasts of “The Best of a Prairie Home Companion” that are hosted by Keillor, Andresen said.
The president of MPR, Jon McTaggart, said he appreciated Keillor’s contributions to the station but believes severing ties “is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service.”