Following the groping allegations against former Saturday Night Live writer/performer and current U.S. Senator Al Franken, 36 of his female SNL co-workers have come forward to… support him.
The 36 women include Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, and a slew of writers, production assistants, producers, and cast members who work or have worked at Saturday Night Live over the past 40 years.
NBC released the statement today (viewable with the signees here), where the women affirmed that they “would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior.”
So that's nice that they never experienced anything horrible by Franken I guess, but like, all these photos of Sen. Franken groping women exist.
Here's Sen. Franken groping Leeann Tweeden while she was asleep:
And this one of where he's groping Joy Behar:
Also there's this one of him grabbing Arianna Huffington (who has since defended Franken as well):
And here's a photo of Sen. Franken and one of his own constituents, Lindsay Menz, who has accused Franken of groping her during a photo op at the Minnesota State Fair:
Apparently Sen. Franken's default camera pose is to attach himself to the nearest feminine body part?
But anyway, all 36 women who were involved with producing the show anywhere from the top down signed the letter to show solidarity and support for him because of how they personally interacted with him.
However, maybe one of the most glaring realities that has come out of the past six weeks is that people you think you know, maybe aren’t exactly who you thought they were. Consider the formerly beloved figures like Louis C.K., Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey, or any one of the other 50+ men who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
The SNL staffers also called Franken’s actions “stupid and foolish,” but then called his apology “appropriate.”
Which is confusing because in his apology to Menz, he said he takes thousands of photos at the state fair with hundreds of people so he couldn't possibly remember the time he grabbed a complete stranger's ass without asking.
"I certainly don't remember taking this picture," Franken said to CNN. "I feel badly Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected."
This instance is eerily familiar to Taylor Swift's groping trial, where she had to repeat over and over again where and for how long the perpetrator latched onto her ass. It's interesting how the victims remember the grab in painstaking detail, but the alleged grabber never can recall the moment.
So SNL ladies, it’s really nice of you to support Franken and wish him a happy holiday season because none of you personally experienced any issues with him. And it’s awesome that you think of him as "a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant."
But for these women whom he allegedly sexually harassed, that’s almost certainly not how they think about him at all, in any capacity. And for any woman who has experienced sexual assault, that's most likely not how they're thinking about him either.
So all logical fallacies aside, people are already speculating that this defense will deter more victims from speaking out. But whether or not Franken steps down, the last thing that needs to happen right now is for people to stop coming forward.