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Female ‘SNL’ staffers’ issue statement in support of Franken

Shortly after Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by two women, several women who worked with Franken on “Saturday Night Live” have issued a statement in support of him. Franken, who has apologized to both women, was a writer on the show who sometimes performed in sketches from 1975-80 and 1985-1995. “We feel compelled to stand up for Al Franken,” read the statement. “What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms (Leeann) 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.” The letter was signed by 36 women who worked behind the scenes and on-camera on “SNL,” including original cast members Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman and former co-producer Marci Klein.

Photos of Franken goofing with Arianna Huffington raise questions

Meanwhile, the New York Post published a set of promotional photos Franken took with Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington. He’s attempting to grab her backside in one photo and her breast in another. Huffington shut down the hoopla saying they were “hamming it up” and that the photo shoot was for a “Politically Incorrect” sketch called “Strange Bedfellows.” “I think I’m a better judge of how I felt in that satirical photo shoot with Al Franken than the recollections of an anonymous bystander,” she tweeted Tuesday morning. “I thought the point of this moment was to believe women’s accounts of their own experiences.”

Jennifer Lawrence said she felt ‘gang-banged’ after photo hack

Acclaimed actress Jennifer Lawrence told the Hollywood Reporter that she felt “gang-banged by the (expletive) planet” in 2014 when her Apple iCloud service was breached and hackers stole and publicly posted nude images of her. “When the hacking thing happened, it was so unbelievably violating that you can’t even put it into words,” she said, adding that she thinks she is “still actually processing it.”

Indie rock band cancels tour after allegations

Indie rock group Pinegrove has canceled its upcoming domestic tour after frontman Even Stephens Hall was accused of sexual coercion. “My actions have caused someone i care about deep emotional pain and I am so sorry,” said Hall in a very lengthy post on Facebook in which he says he “misread the situation.”

Compiled by Melody Baetens

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Wednesday’s birthdays

Billie Jean King, 74

Jamie Lee Curtis, 59

Mark Ruffalo, 50

Scarlett Johansson, 33

Dacre Montgomery, 23

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