Late-Night Hosts Tackle Sen. Al Franken Sexual Harassment Claims
"I guess there are no good people left. Let’s just get it over with," said Stephen Colbert. "Just tell us whatever you did Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Malala."
After Sen. Al Franken was accused of sexual harassment by TV host and sports broadcaster Leeann Tweeden on Thursday, late night hosts across the dial addressed the issue.
Tweeden, an anchor on McIntyre in the Morning, wrote in a first-person essay on the website for KABC talk radio that Franken kissed and groped her without her consent in 2006. Late night hosts criticized Franken for his lewd gestures in a picture Tweeden shared that shows the senator posing with his hands over her chest during a USO tour to entertain troops in the Middle East.
On the Late Show, host Stephen Colbert jokingly questioned who are the good people left as sexual harassment allegations continue to plague Hollywood and Washington.
"I guess there are no good people left. Let’s just get it over with," said Colbert. "Just tell us whatever you did Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Malala. As a fellow comedian I long admired Al Franken, but I got to say this does not bode well for Louis C.K.’s senate hopes."
Colbert went on to criticize Franken's pose in the photo Tweeden shared. "For those of you not in showbiz actors call that technique sexual harassment," joked Colbert. The late-night host also responded to Franken's statement that the photo was "clearly intended to be funny but wasn't."
"Intended to be funny, but wasn’t? No. You’re movie Stuart Saves His Family was intended to be funny but wasn’t. That photo was intended to embarrass her. That’s why he did it while she was asleep. Nobody goes up to their buddy when he’s awake and says ‘Hey can I draw a penis on your forehead?’”
Over on Late Night, Seth Meyers called the photo "horrifying" when he addressed the incident during his "Sexual Harassment in Congress" segment.
“She’s wearing army gear because it’s a USO tour but honestly who could blame women if they started wearing military gear whenever they are around men," said Meyers.
"Al Franken, hashtag you, too?" said the Daily Show's Trevor Noah after showing the same picture on his show.
"Even if there wasn’t a woman in that picture, that pose is it’s own crime," said Noah. "If I saw Franken doing that in the supermarket I’d be like “Hey leave that fruit alone!”
Noah added, "This story is another example how at all levels we men have been complicit in perpetuating the culture that devalues women. I don’t care who you are: Democrat, Republican, black, white, rich, poor, men. Because you forget it’s not just Al Franken in the picture. It’s the guy who is taking the picture. His Billy Bush. Who’s that guy?"