Franken Cut From Broadcast Of Letterman’s Mark Twain Prize Presentation

WASHINGTON  (CNN) — Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken has been cut from the TV broadcast of “David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize” after allegations of sexual misconduct.

“PBS will air an updated ‘David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize’ on Monday (Nov. 20). Sen. Al Franken participated in the event, but will not appear substantially in the PBS program airing nationally Monday evening,” Cecily Van Praagh, a spokeswoman for WETA, said in a statement. “PBS and WETA, the producing station, felt that the inclusion of Sen. Franken in the broadcast at this time would distract from the show’s purpose as a celebration of American humor. Every year, this program is edited for both length and content to keep it entertaining and focused on its intended purpose as a celebration of American humor.”

The show, which was taped last month, included a presentation in which Franken mentioned videos he had recorded with Letterman to raise awareness about climate change.

The decision comes after Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor in Los Angeles, went public with her story on Thursday. She wrote in a post on her station’s website that during a 2006 USO tour, Franken badgered her and forced a kiss on her in the guise of a rehearsal for their USO performance. In her post, Tweeden included a photo of Franken apparently grabbing her breasts while she slept.

Franken’s Senate colleagues have called for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his behavior, and in a statement, Franken apologized for his actions and said he welcomed an ethics investigation.

A Franken staffer told the Star Tribune on Saturday (Nov. 18) that the senator has no intention of resigning.