Franken’s accuser, Leeann Tweeden, alleged that the SNL alum forcibly kissed her during a USO tour back in 2006. She also released a photo that appeared to show him groping her while she was sleeping.
“Fox News has not really wanted to talk too much about the sexual harassment when it was Roy Moore or Donald Trump or everybody at Fox News,” Maher began, “and then Al Franken came along. Very disturbing. I was so shaken, I called Bill Cosby to see if he had anything to calm me down.”
Maher then got into the details regarding the Franken incident: “As you know by now, when Al was on a USO tour back in 2006 with Leeann Tweeden, he [took] a picture where he’s mock-groping her while she’s sleeping. Not cool at all. Then he wrote a sketch where they were kissing as a pretext to actually force a kiss on her. … Al’s a friend, but Al, I gotta tell you: if you write a comedy sketch where you, Al Franken, kiss a model, and the next line of dialogue isn’t, ‘Get off of me, creepy,’ it’s not comedy. It’s science fiction.
“He did a bad thing, and the condemnation has been universal, which he deserves,” Maher continued. “What he doesn’t deserve is to be lumped in with Roy Moore, or Kevin Spacey, or Harvey Weinstein. Or Donald Trump! Donald Trump calls his accusers liars [and] threatened to sue them. Long riffs at his rallies where he would say they were too ugly for him to assault. Plus, with Al Franken, we’re talking about one incident. Trump has 16 accusers. Roy Moore has nine. Roy Moore’s spent more time chatting up young girls at the mall than Santa Claus.” Maher then suggested an alternate #MeToo campaign that differentiates between the likes of Franken and Moore, adding, “I know the difference between someone who behaved like a high schooler and someone who targeted high schoolers.”
Afterwards, guest Chelsea Handler also came to Franken’s defense: “I agree with you on Al Franken,” she said to Maher. “I’m sorry, he’s not a predator. Anybody who’s met him knows that’s not true. He made a mistake, absolutely, but he’s not a predator.”
Do you agree with Maher’s stance on separating Franken from the Roy Moores and Harvey Weinsteins of the world? Drop a comment below.