Al Franken Seeking Post-Scandal Paid Speaking Gigs

Ex-Senator Al Franken regrets his resignation over sexual harassment allegations and is now seeking paid speaking gigs, touting his “unique voice.”

Per New Yorker, Franken’s fall was stunningly swift: he resigned only three weeks after Leeann Tweeden, a conservative talk-radio host, accused him of having forced an unwanted kiss on her during a 2006 U.S.O. tour. Seven more women followed with accusations against Franken; all of them centered on inappropriatetouches or kisses

Bloomberg reports Al Franken is now ready to make his comeback.

After resigning from the U.S. Senate at the beginning of 2018 due to sexual-harassment allegations, the comedian is working with Hollywood firm United Talent Agency to make paid public speeches. The agency sent an email this week pitching Franken to potential bookers and promoters, touting his “unique voice,” Emmy awards, best-selling books and career in the Senate.

“Whether discussing his career in comedy or in public service, Franken delivers a singular experience — leaving audiences thoroughly entertained, more knowledgeable, and either optimistic or extremely depressed about our nation’s future — depending on how he feels that day,” the pitch note obtained by Bloomberg says. It makes no mention of the circumstances that led to his resignation.

Before his election to the Senate as a Democrat from Minnesota, Franken was on the speaking circuit, which can pay tens of thousands of dollars per appearance. Members of Congress aren’t allowed to be paid for their speeches.

Franken has been tiptoeing back into public life since the sexual-harassment allegations forced him to resign. He started a website in April and began hosting a podcast in May, featuring guests such as comedian Dana Carvey, author Michael Lewis and former energy secretary Ernest Moniz.

Second Thoughts

The allegations against Franken have divided the Democratic Party over the past year. Several senators, including Dick Durbin, have said they had second thoughts about calling for Franken to step down, and Franken told journalist Jane Mayer that he regretted resigning.

Mayer wrote a profile of Franken for the New Yorker questioning the allegations — in particular the first case. In that instance, radio host Leeann Tweeden said Franken made unwanted advances and released a photo of him gesturing toward her chest while she was asleep.

Kirsten Gillibrand, a senator from New York who is running for president, was one of the first women to call for Franken to step down, and she’s defended that position in the weeks since Franken spoke to Mayer.

“There is no prize for someone who tries to hold accountable a powerful man who is good at his day job,” Gillibrand said at a town-hall event in July. “But we should have the courage to do it anyway.” She reiterated that position in a podcast with the New York Times this week.

This article was written by the staff of 

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