7 Times Al Franken Condemned Sexual Assault Before Being Accused of It Himself

(ANTIMEDIA) — Al Franken is the latest to be hit with sexual assault and harassment allegations. The accusations against him from radio anchor Leann Tweeden, who says he groped her and pressured her into kissing him. The allegations, if true, are all the more damning in light of Franken’s previous longstanding advocacy for victims of sexual abuse.

Here are seven times he firmly condemned harassment and assault:

Despite Franken’s apparent advocacy for victims, he has also displayed sexually offensive behavior outside of the current allegation against him. In 1995, Franken made a highly offensive joke about rape while discussing a potential sketch Saturday Night Live, where he was a writer:

“And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”

He later apologized and acknowledged the joke was inappropriate. Franken also made off-color remarks about pedophilia, joking during a comedy roast that director Rob Reiner’s father sodomized him and allowed his adult friends to do the same.

While jokes made in poor taste certainly don’t prove actual misconduct, the new allegations make Franken’s prior callousness toward these types of abuse unsurprising.

Franken has welcomed an ethics investigation into the claims and issued a lengthy apology in response to Tweeden, excoriating his own behavior and insisting he respects women. From his statement:

“I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”

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