Al Franken Responds to Questions About His Joke About the Murder of a Gay Man
I went to Drinking Liberally last night. While there, I got the opportunity to meet Andy Birkey from Eleventh Avenue South and Minnesota Monitor. Al Franken was the special guest. I wasn't aware he was going to be there in advance. When Franken stopped by Andy and my table, I asked Franken what he meant by this comment in the Harvard Crimson.
"He [Al Franken] recalled writing a skit called 'Seamen on Broadway' that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show 'by some preppie so they could take some other preppie's skit.' Franken started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. 'It's not preppies, cause I'm a preppie myself. I just don't like homosexuals. If you ask me, they're all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia.' The smile became so broad it pushed his eyes shut. He couldn't stand it any longer. 'Put that in, put that in,' Franken laughed, leaning over the desk. 'I'd love to see that in The Crimson.'" Source: Harvard Crimson, April 16, 1976
Franken's answer was long and convoluted. I believe he was trying to say he was playing the part of a man who was a jerk in that interview, and the interview did not reflect his actual thoughts about gays. If Avidor had been there, we could have gotten this interview on tape.
Franken also made a point of letting Andy and I know his positions on gay marriage (he supports marriage equality) and also that he believes Don't Ask, Don't Tell needs to be overturned. I reminded Franken that Don't Ask, Don't Tell came from President Clinton.