Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has been edited out of a PBS special honoring comedian David Letterman amid sexual assault allegations against him.
The hands-on Democrat senator appeared at the event that was taped last month to thank Letterman for helping him with a series of videos on climate change awareness.
But now PBS and WETA have edited him out of the broadcast, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“PBS will air an updated ‘David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize’ on Monday. Sen. Al Franken participated in the event, but will not appear substantially in the PBS program airing nationally Monday evening,” WETA spokeswoman Cecily Van Praagh 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 decision to cut Franken from the broadcast came after former Playboy model Leeann Tweeden accused the Minnesota senator of forcibly kissing her when the two were together on a USO tour in 2006.
The model also produced a scandalous photo of the future senator, who was a comedian at the time, grabbing her breasts as she slept on a flight.
Many Republicans and Democrats have called for an ethics investigation into Franken’s actions. Some have pressed for him to resign.
But a spokesperson for the senator said he has no intention of resigning and is “doing a lot of reflecting” over the Thanksgiving holiday as he spends time with his family.
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