36 female SNLers backing Al Franken face backlash

ANI | Updated: Nov 22, 2017 05:33 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov 22 (ANI): Less than a week after two women stepped forward to accuse Senator Al Franken of sexual misconduct, the female staffers of 'Saturday Night Live' penned a letter saying they were "compelled to stand up" for the former-cast-member-turned-politician.

Signed by 36 female members of the NBC show's cast and crew, the letter begins, "We feel compelled to stand up for Al Franken, whom we have all had the pleasure of working with over the years."

It goes on to say that what Franken did was "stupid and foolish" and that "it was appropriate for him to apologize."

"In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic partner, and an honorable public servant. This 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 further reads.

The letter has already received backlash on Twitter, with many users pointing out that the fact Franken didn't sexually harass those women doesn't mean he didn't sexually harass others.

"A letter literally "sending gratitude" to a man's entire family bc that man didn't grope the letter writers. Ok," wrote one, while another tweeted, "What benefit do you get by informing the public that a man did not harass YOU? This is exactly how some women become a part of the problem."

Another Twitterer shared, "Congrats on this harmful, distracting, useless statement, @nbcsnl. It's LITERALLY "family men," "comedians," & "honorable public servants" being revealed as harassers. Progressive men can mistreat women too, and it's dangerous to imply otherwise."

Earlier, former model and Los Angeles radio news host Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her and grabbing her breasts while on a USO tour to the Middle East in 2006, two years before he was elected to the Senate.

Franken apologized to Tweeden and said he was "ashamed" of his behavior.

Later, Lindsay Menz came forward to say the lawmaker grabbed her by the buttocks, leaving her feeling "uncomfortable" and "gross," during a photo shoot in 2010 at the Minnesota State Fair.

Franken said he was sorry he caused Menz to feel "disrespected."

Since then, a number of Republican lawmakers and women's groups have called for Franken to step down. (ANI)