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36 women who worked at SNL unite to publicly defend Al Franken

Thirty-six women staffers of NBC's Saturday Night Live who worked with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on the show published a letter Tuesday to "offer solidarity in support" of the alum, who is accused of kissing one woman without her consent and taking a picture groping her while she slept, and by another woman of groping her while posing for a photo at a fair.

The "SNL women," including original cast members Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, said that "what Al did was stupid and foolish" but that "in our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant."

The letter was not received well by some. Elle's culture editor Estelle Tang tweeted: "Congrats on this harmful, distracting, useless statement, @NBCSNL. It's LITERALLY 'family men,' 'comedians,' & 'honorable public servants' being revealed as harassers. Progressive men can mistreat women too, and it's dangerous to imply otherwise."

SNL actually addressed the Franken scandal over the weekend. "I know this photo looks bad, but remember: It also is bad," said Colin Jost in a Weekend Update segment on the subject. "And, sure, this was taken before he ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school. It's pretty hard to be like, 'Oh, come on. He didn't know any better. He was only 55.'"

Read the full SNL statement below. Jeva Lange