PBS is editing out Senator Al Franken’s appearance from tomorrow’s taped broadcast of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize ceremony honoring David Letterman. The decision comes after the former Saturday Night Live writer and performer was accused of sexual harassment.
In a statement, PBS said:
“PBS will air an updated ‘David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize’ on Monday. Senator Al Franken participated in the event, but will not appear substantially in the PBS program airing nationally Monday evening at 8 pm ET (Check local listings.)
PBS and WETA, the producing station, felt that the inclusion of Senator 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 event was taped in Washington D.C. on Oct. 22 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Letterman is the recipient of the 20th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The Prize, which is named to honor one of the world’s greatest humorists, was given at a gala performance featuring some of the biggest names in comedy, and taped for broadcast nationwide.
On Sunday, Franken’s photo, along with those of Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Martin, Bill Murray and others, was still included on the Kennedy Center website: