Celebrities took to social media Thursday to condemn Senator Al Franken (D-MN) over a photo of him groping journalist and talk radio anchor Leeann Tweeden while she was sleeping, with some stars, like actress and liberal activist Alyssa Milano, calling on the Democratic lawmaker to resign from office.
Tweeden posted a 2006 photo to Twitter Thursday showing Franken grabbing her breast during a two week USO Tour. The TalkRadio 790 KABC anchor also detailed how Franken allegedly shoved his tongue down her throat without her consent during a rehearsal for a USO skit.
One of the more forceful reactions to the photo came from Charmed star Alyssa Milano, who said Franken can no longer represent the women of Minnesota.
“Zero tolerance. If we don’t hold all accountable for horrible behavior — nothing changes. Sorry, @SenAlFranken you should not be in a position to represent the female constituents in your state,” Milano wrote, linking to Tweeden’s post.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) looks over his papers during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, on Capitol Hill November 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Tweeden said in an appearance on CNN Thursday that she “gladly accepts” Franken’s apology.
Reaction, however, continues to pour in with Hollywood stars hammering the comedian turned politician.
These allegations are hard for liberal supporters of Franken to hear. In his professional life, he has been an outspoken advocate of women's rights. After the Harvey Weinstein allegations came to light in October, Franken announced he was working to pass the Arbitration Fairness Act, which would reform laws that "prevent people who experience workplace harassment from going to court." He's consistently supported women's reproductive health rights, and in April, he reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in an effort to help close the gender wage gap.
Franken became famous as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live, and transitioned into being a politician after writing several books that attacked the right, including Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. In 2008, when he was running his first Senate campaign in Minnesota, he had to deal with a controversy over his more risque material and past, including rape jokes he made in the SNL writers' room. He barely squeaked by in that election, winning by just 300 votes, but has since become popular on the left for the way he can dissect right-wing arguments. This was on display earlier this year when he grilled Neil Gorsuch on the judge's siding with a company that fired a trucker for not staying with his vehicle in subzero weather. (Gorsuch, of course, was confirmed to the Supreme Court anyway.)
Franken's press office emailed me the statement he has also sent to other reporters: “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it.”
The question for Democrats is, is that good enough? I don't think it is. Franken should resign.
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StevieRay Hansen Investigative Reporter for SrhNews.com and HNewsWire.com
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