I’ve listened to Prairie Home Companion for more than thirty years, but it wasn’t until a few summers ago that I got to see the show live at Tanglewood.
When I heard the words, “From American Public Media,” in the canned open, chills ran down my spine. Within the first few notes of the show’s signature song, Tishomingo Blues, I swear to god, a tear ran down my cheek.
The show was great – everything I expected – but both me and my wife were struck by something: Garrison Keillor seemed to be unusually intimate with a young women he sang with on several numbers. Watching them, I thought that they were either involved romantically (eww) or he was hopelessly in love with her. Let’s put it this way, his attention wasn’t grandfatherly, unless your grandfather is Roy Moore.
I saw sexual harassment up-close once when an employee complained about unwanted attention from an older, male co-worker. This was not he said/she said. There was plain evidence that a line was crossed, and it even extended to outside the workplace.
I took the matter to my boss and it was quickly elevated to corporate HR. The people in that office (the ones who made us take endless sexual harassment training) then made it all go away. They basically told the complainant that she should first go to her co-worker and explain that she was not interested in his advances.
Yes, they told the woman who complained to go deal with the creepy fucker on her own. Good job, HR!
Look, there are no easy answers to all this. Maybe the current climate will bring change. If you have sons, teach them this: Treat women with respect, behave like a gentleman and keep your filthy mitts to yourself.