King County Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Joe McDermott are calling on former U.S. Senator Al Franken and event planners to cancel a scheduled Friday appearance in Seattle.
Already the subject of eight allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct and harassment, Franken faces a new credible accusation that emerged Monday from a former staff member serving in the office of Washington Senator Patty Murray.
“We believe women and we believe Senator Franken does not deserve a space at one of Seattle most historic and treasured theaters,” said Kohl-Welles and McDermott. “For him to appear in our city just days after it was revealed that a former staff member of one of our own U.S. Senators has credibly accused him of groping her right here in Seattle would be a slap in the face to this courageous woman and our entire community.”
UPDATE (10/2/2019, 2:25 pm): STG is offering refunds to any ticketholder who requests them. Councilmember Kohl-Welles had this to say in reaction:
“I’m pleased to learn that STG will offer refunds to ticketholders no longer wanting to attend in light of the latest allegations against Mr. Franken. I only hope that he uses some of his time on stage to express real remorse and recognize his actions have hurt a lot of people – people who do not have the ability to have their voices heard as loudly as his.”
UPDATE (10/3/19, 2:35 pm): Councilmember Kohl-Welles released the following additional statement in response to Seattle Theater Group announcing they will offer refunds to Al Franken ticketholders no longer wanting to attend Friday’s event in the wake of new allegations revealed earlier this week.
“I’m satisfied with this outcome and I am pleased with STG’s decision. Attendees who no longer want to attend considering the most recent allegations against Franken should be able to get a refund.
I will not be protesting on Friday but will be thinking of the many women in the country and around the world who have been victims and are on the path to becoming survivors.
I’m deeply disturbed by what Franken allegedly did to U.S. Senator Patty Murray’s former staffer right here in Seattle. I couldn’t agree more with Sen. Murray who stated, “Her story shows exactly why we need to raise these voices up, ensure they are heard, and keep making clear that we’re not tolerating this behavior anymore. No one should have to spend their life living with something like this. It is not okay.”
Murray was one of nine female senators to originally call for Franken to resign. She and the other senators stated Franken had shown “a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time.”
The above is a press release from the King County Council. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its contents.