Garrison Keillor's appearance at Women's Club of Minneapolis fundraiser is canceled

The Women's Club has confirmed the event has been canceled.
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An upcoming fundraiser for the Women's Club of Minneapolis featuring Garrison Keillor has been canceled.

The Women's Club confirmed the Feb. 29 fundraiser's cancelation in brief statement to BMTN on Thursday morning, with a longer statement expected to be issued later.

The private members' club had been the subject of criticism on social media over the decision to book the former A Prairie Home Companion host following his firing from Minnesota Public Radio in 2017.

The public radio station severed ties with Keillor after a former work colleague of his alleged she had been subjected to inappropriate behavior.

Keillor has since tried to re-launch his career and still tours, playing two nights at the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis this week, with the club in turn seeing a backlash in the form of 

However, he remains a controversial figure, with a decision by Mpls.St. Paul Magazine to put Keillor on its front cover in January prompting one of its columnists, the author and podcaster Nora McInerny, to say she will no longer writer for the magazine.

The event listing for the Women's Club fundraiser with Keillor has been removed from Facebook and taken down from its website.

As word spread about the original announcement of the event, a number of complaints were shared on social media.

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One woman left the following review on the Women's Club's Facebook page: "Disappointing that the Women's Club is hosting Garrison Keillor for an event. Can't say I'll be attending events here in the future. Gross."

Coming to his defense on another negative review thread was Maria Jette, the soprano who was booked to appear alongside Keillor at the Feb. 29 event.

"I love the Woman's Club, and was really looking forward to this benefit, as I love the idea of fundraising for the renovations. I was impressed that the WC wasn't going to fall in line with the outraged local musicians posting their furious and completely IGNORANT OF THE FACTS remarks on The Dakota's site," she wrote.

She added: "I'm happy to have my name associated with Garrison, happy to perform with him, and happy to keep waving this info around in front of anyone who's willing to really read it and think about it."

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