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"SNL" does not pull punches on former cast member Al Franken following sexual harassment allegations

"Saturday Night Live" went after the senior following allegations of sexual of harassment


Taylor Link
November 19, 2017 1:54PM (UTC)

"Saturday Night Live" demonstrated this week that alumni can be targeted for headlines involving sexual abuse and misconduct. Sen. Al Franken, who spent a total of 15 years on the show as an original cast member, went under the microscope Saturday following accusations of harassment by KABC radio anchor Leeann Tweeden earlier in the week.

"Senator Al Franken is being accused of sexual misconduct on a 2006 U.S.O. tour by Leeann Tweeden, who posted this photo of Franken apparently groping her breasts while she was asleep. Now, I know this photo looks bad, but remember, it also is bad," co-anchor Colin Jost said during "Weekend Update".

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"And sure, this was taken before Franken ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school. It’s pretty hard to be like, ‘Oh, come on, he didn’t know any better. He was only 55.’ Tweeden is also claiming that Franken forced her to kiss him as part of a rehearsal for a comedy sketch they were performing for the troops. Come on, man — didn’t the troops in Afghanistan have it hard enough without having to sit through sketch comedy? I mean, people can barely stay up to watch sketches after 'Weekend Update,'" Jost viciously continued.

Unlike last week, when "SNL" was rather tame in their ridicule of four-time host Louis C.K., whose name was only mentioned once throughout the whole episode despite news of his repeated sexual abuse, Franken got the full scolding from the "Weekend Update" crew.

"But Franken is a liberal and Trump and Moore are conservatives," Michael Che added. "And in this country, everybody has to pick a side. Except for me — I think they’re all bitches. I don’t even know what side I would be on if I had to pick. I mean, maybe I’m a liberal because I do live in a gay neighborhood. But then, maybe I’m conservative because I never want to live in a black neighborhood again. Also, why are Republicans trying so hard to protect Roy Moore from this case? It’s not like he wrote the remix to 'Ignition.'"

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., released an apology earlier this week, calling for an ethics investigation into his behavior after he was accused by Tweeden of kissing her without her consent and later groping her while she was asleep, in 2006.

"The first thing I want to do is apologize," Franken wrote in a new statement on Thursday. "To Leann, to everyone who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women."

Watch last night's "Weekend Update" below:

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Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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