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'Nothing Funny About It': Sen. Al Franken Accused of Unwanted Groping During ISO Tour in 2006


'Nothing Funny About It': Sen. Al Franken Accused of Unwanted Groping During ISO Tour in 2006

Jon Queally, staff writer

Democratic senator from Minnesota, a former comedian, latest powerful man to be called out for past sexual behavior


Damn you Al Franken


I realize I’m a man, and so possibly discredited, but this picture looks like “mock-groping” to me … It doesn’t look like anything but a silly photo. Does he look under the sway of some deep sexual desire??? No. As for the kissing rehearsal, well who knows …


Time to get divided and conquered.
Gender is the final frontier of division politics.


…the photo is, well, possibly a prank but…
…the account of the “kiss”, well, one side of the story but…
…I admit, I am a fan of Al, of his work as a joke-ster on SNL and as a Senator but…
…I was raised by a single parent, my mother, respect was grilled into me like a grilled cheese sammy, there are things you just don’t do without asking first…this proves that not all jokes are funny…


The picture is certainly not “groping” or “touching her breasts.” Looks like a prank picture to me … Besides, well … look her up on Facebook.


Fred - you are not discredited “because you are a man”. What disturbs me about your comment is its absence of awareness and empathy as how the woman feels - a joke being played upon an “object” , not a human being - and a joke that used another for Francken’s own amusement with the woman - being asleep - having no vote in the matter. Some men - perhaps you are one - have never been treated like an “object” where you are used by another for someone’s ego gain. What a difference to be regarded as a co-collaborator in the dynamics of shared experience! Where no one is using another for their personal exclusive gain.


Fred, do you think the feelings of the person being groped matter, whether it’s a joke or not?

Here’s a crazy thought: Everyone keep their fuckin hands to themselves unless given explicit permission to do otherwise.


Absolutely unacceptable. We demand Trump and Moore and other right-wingers resign or face serious consequences for doing anything even remotely sexual to women without their consent, and we cannot in the same breath require anything less of a Democratic politician for the same thing, even if he is on “our team.” To do otherwise makes us hypocrites.

Sorry, Al - but you need to resign if that’s the price of this. Hate to lose a seat in the Senate to the Right, but wrong is wrong. NOT acceptable.


The problem here is that Franken is basically accused of making lewd advances and at the same time she admits that she submitted to Franken’s advances to keep him from badgering her further. This is that gray area when I feel that women need to follow through with a rejection so that the alleged is not misled by her refusal. She also admits to “laughing” and being coy towards Franken during rehearsals. It is tricky sometimes navigating another’s emotions when or if advances are made, especially in that kind of environment. Since I believe in giving the accused the initial benefit of the doubt, I want to see if a pattern of sleaze develops before passing judgment here.


This is an extremely disappointing thing to find out about Senator Franken. For me, it disqualifies him from my support in running for President and is definitely something to judge him on if seeks another term in 2020 (perhaps he should not). @Elenarose is correct that the objectification issue is way too troubling to ignore. However, I don’t see this as something that requires him to resign - unless any further women come forward. I hope he spends the remainder of his term working as a positive force on this issue.


This new topic of conversation is interesting on a number of levels. First, as a woman who has experienced molesting etc, it’s not funny at all. Second, I was harassed, followed, molested, subjected to seeing men masturbate in the streets/parks etc, been approached when I was 14–all in Europe. There, it’s common. Being groped? Try walking down a street in Italy without having your butt grabbed at least once. I grew up thinking that’s the way things are in a society that feels sex is an okay pastime and women should love male “expressions of appreciation.” Here, where porn is a multibillion-dollar business, sex is shoved in your face constantly in the media/movies/internet, men and women dress provocatively and advertising promotes–sex (check out Calvin Klein ads) we seem to have a double standard going. Kind of like Victorian England, where tables had to wear skirts so their “legs” wouldn’t provoke male arousal while behind the scenes drug abuse, alcoholism, prostitution, affairs etc were rampant. I think it’s time we as a society had a frank conversation about exactly what framework we want to establish, and stop playing two games. The mixed messages are confusing even me.


you’re shifting responsibility onto the victim here. Franken–and only Franken–is the one obligated to adjust his behavior.

I hope he loses his seat.


In my opinion, if you have ever sexually assaulted a woman - done something sexual to her without her consent - then you are not qualified to sit in the greatest legislative body in the land. The photo of Franken, and the woman’s story, and his not denying it, make it pretty clear it happened. Republican of Democrat, right or left - you are disqualified to sit in the United States Senate. (Or the Oval Office, Mr. Sexual Predator-In-Chief.)


Yeah. In fact, in the US just the accusation will get the headline, and you are considered guilty until proven innocent–turning our justice system on its head. Seems to me we as a nation slather over this type of story because of our double standards about sex. it’s kind of sickening overall.


good point. it’s sort of validating the idea that this woman is somehow a valid prop.
Well said.


Hmmm . . . not sure I would consider groping any part of another person’s anatomy to fall into the category of a “prank”.

Unless, of course, it’s along the lines of certain locker room humor about others, a la the Wizard of Orange.


“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and (doggone it) people like me.”

Umm, not everyone, Senator.



I’m sure our other MN senator - Bipartisan Amy Klobuchar - will call for Franken’s resignation for this “joke” and serious sexual harassment. As will the rest of MN’s “progressive” delegation, led by Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison. I’m sure. Right? Right? WTF?!?


Actually, Tom, lots of Dems have forcibly condemned Franken, he’s been forced to seriously upgrade his apology, and he’s facing some official censure.

I’m no friend of the Ds, but they’re handling this a lot better than the Rs are handling Moore.

Too bad they didn’t take the same route with serial predator, Bill Clinton.