PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – An event with longtime radio host Garrison Keillor was canceled Wednesday after an allegation of inappropriate behavior was brought against him.
Keillor was scheduled to headline an event at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, but it was canceled less than three hours before it was supposed to start.
Minnesota Public Radio fired the former host of “A Prairie Home Companion” amid an allegation of inappropriate behavior from a person he worked with on the show.
The company renting the theatre for the event made the final decision to cancel, and the Berkshire Theatre Group called any victimization of people deplorable.
“There are degrees of severity in sexual harassment and whether it’s mild or severe it’s unacceptable,” Rick Pocock said.
Pocock had tickets to the show. He and his wife, Rose, didn’t hold back after learning of the allegations against Keillor.
“I’m disappointed,” Rose said. “I’m truly disappointed in him and in the fact that we can’t see him tonight.”
Many fans arrived to the theatre Wednesday only to find out the event had been canceled.
“Can’t say that I’ll ever think of him the same anymore,” Jim Neureuther said.
Neureuther and his wife, Donna, wanted to hear from the man himself.
“How do you explain? How do you come back from something like that?” Donna wondered.
In a statement, Keillor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the incident in question involved him putting his hand on a woman’s bare back to comfort her, that he apologized, and she’d forgiven him. He said they remained friendly until her lawyer called.
“If he’s telling the truth, 100 percent, I think you have to assume that there’s a lot of gray area in what he did,” Rick said.
But as the story unfolds along with those of other public figures, Keillor’s fans see a culture change on the horizon.
“I hope management has finally got the message that you can’t protect people like this anymore,” Jim said.
“It’s dramatically more pervasive than I ever thought it would be,” Rick said. “The floodgates have opened.”
Keillor appeared at the theatre for a few minutes. Robin Williams, who was going to perform with him, said Keillor wanted to tell people he’s sorry the show was canceled.
Those who had tickets to the show can contact the box office for a refund.