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Comedians Bill Maher and Bob Saget are known for their off-color humor but have been slammed for going too far, too soon, by poking fun at Al Franken's groping snap.
Maher tweeted out a re-enactment aboard a private jet on the way to Hawaii, featuring Saget of the now-infamous snap of former Democratic US Senator Al Franken appearing to grope a sleeping female reporter, in the early morning hours on Thursday.
The original photo of Franken and Leeann Tweeden, now a Los Angeles radio anchor, ultimately tipped off allegations of sexual misconduct against Franken, which led to his resignation from the Senate on Tuesday.
Many of Maher's fans thought the stunt was funny, but others were quick to point out the tasteless nature of the joke, especially given Franken's official resignation on Tuesday.
Bill Maher (L) tweeted out a re-enactment featuring Bill Saget (R) of the now-infamous photo of former Democratic US Senator Al Franken appearing to grope a sleeping female reporter, in the early morning hours on Thursday
The photo Maher tweeted on Thursday included this message: 'These New Years Hawaii trips are getting weird - Saget, forgive me!'
The photo Maher tweeted on Thursday included this message:
'These New Years Hawaii trips are getting weird - Saget, forgive me!'
Maher was posed on an airplane as if he were grabbing a sleeping Saget's chest, just as Franken was posed in the photo with a sleeping Tweeden from 2006.
Two women can be seen smiling in the background, from an angle to seems like their view of Maher was obstructed, and a third man appears to be sleeping with an eye mask on.
The original photo of Franken (L) and Leeann Tweeden (R), now a Los Angeles radio anchor, ultimately tipped off allegations of sexual misconduct against Franken, which led to his resignation from the Senate on Tuesday
A user asked of Maher and Saget (L), 'Are you mocking Sen. Franken and the victim ? Not cool;' Tweeden (R) is pictured
In response to the tweet, some Twitter users echoed a sentiment of 'not funny' and 'too soon'.
One user asked, 'Are you mocking Sen. Franken and the victim? Not cool.'
That prompted another person to respond, saying, 'I think he’s mocking the Democrats decision to force Franken out.'
Maher didn't clarify the intended message of the post, but many social media users pointed out that he's a comedian, and making light of current events is what comedians do.
One user created a combined hashtag of the phrases '#MeToo' and '#TooSoon,' saying, '#MeTooSoon, Bill. Even if the Franken pic is of horseplay it reminds many women - and others - about being mistreated and harassed'
And one man noted, 'Jokes about sexual misconduct are: easy, not funny, offensive'
Some also noted that when Franked took the photo that led to his political downfall this Fall, it was before his career in public service and he, himself, was a comedian at the time.
That wasn't good enough, though, for a user who created a combined hashtag of the phrases '#MeToo' and '#TooSoon,' saying, '#MeTooSoon, Bill. Even if the Franken pic is of horseplay it reminds many women - and others - about being mistreated and harassed.'
And one man noted, 'Jokes about sexual misconduct are: easy, not funny, offensive.'
Another woman went so far as to say that Maher should 'get a new job.'
'Maybe probably in bad taste,' another person commented on the post.
'I don’t think this is funny. Help change the game Bill (and Saget), not keep it going the same. Use your platform and powers for good sir,' she added.
One Twitter user called out Maher and Saget for not using their platform to effect change
Another woman went so far as to say that Maher should 'get a new job'
Franken's photo with Tweeden was taken during a 2006 USO tour in Afghanistan, while Tweeden slept.
In mid-November when the photo surfaced, Tweeden also accused Franken of forcibly kissing her during the same tour.
Franked resigned from the Senate on Tuesday and his successor, Tina Smith was sworn in to represent the people if Minnesota on Wednesday.
Franken sang Smith's praises, urging his Twitter followers to beginning following the new Senator.
'Tina Smith is a dedicated public servant who has worked tirelessly on behalf of Minnesotans,' he tweeted on Wednesday.
'I spoke with her last night, and I know she'll be an effective US senator who brings people together to get things done. I'll be following @SenTinaSmith. Hope you do too.'
Franken sang Smith's praises, urging his followers to beginning following the new Senator
Franked resigned from the Senate on Tuesday and his successor, Tina Smith was sworn in to represent the people if Minnesota on Wednesday
Smith said, in a tweet quoted by Franken, on Wednesday:
'I'm looking forward to continuing to be a fierce advocate for Minnesotans, and carrying on the progressive legacy of this seat. I hope you'll follow along here, because I'm ready to get to work.'
Franken gave one in a series of farewell speeches on December 7 on Capitol Hill, thanking his family and friends, while lambasting the president and his administration for what he called 'lies.'
His 40 minute speech tore into Trump and his fellow Republicans on a number of issues from treatment of LGBT rights to health care and the middle class.
'During his inaugural address, President Trump vowed that "the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,"' Franken said.
'But the Republican tax bill represents a slap in the face to those forgotten men and women. I guess the president forgot about them.'
Franken gave one in a series of farewell speeches on December 7 on Capitol Hill, thanking his family and friends, while lambasting the president and his administration for 'lies'
Franken, who confirmed on December 20 his officially stepping down date of January 2, again praised his successor, former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith.
'I have no doubt Sen. Smith will serve Minnesotans and all Americans well,' Franken said.
AOL News reported Franken concluded his resignation speech on a positive note:
'Politics is about the improvement of people's lives,' Franken said. 'The American people know that to be true. And they fill me with hope for our future.'
The 66-year-old former comedian had been seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party but he had faced growing calls from fellow Senate Democrats to step down, following allegations of inappropriate touching made by multiple women
At the time of Franken's December announcement of his impending resignation, Sen. Patrick Leahy and dozens of other senators had urged the Minnesota Democrat to step down.
BUt Leahy said in late December that he regretted calling for Franken to resign instead of waiting for an ethics investigation.
The Burlington Free Press reported the Vermont Democrat released a statement on December 19, saying that Franken has 'stood for due process' throughout his career, and that he regrets 'not doing that this time.'
Leahy said the Ethics Committee 'should have been allowed to investigate and make its recommendation.'
Many of Maher's fans thought the stunt was funny, but others were quick to point out the tasteless nature of the joke, especially given Franken's official resignation on Tuesday
Some were outraged at Maher's post which included Bob Saget
Eventually, four of Franken's colleagues stepped forward to say his promised resignation over groping and sexual harassment allegations should be put on pause.
Politico cited four lawmakers on December 19 saying Franken was too quick to throw himself on the live grenade of the #MeToo movement and deserved a second chance, a campaign originally started over a decade ago, offline by Tarana Burke, an activist based out of Harlem, New York.
The #MeToo hashtag and social media version of the movement caught public attention after Harvey Weinstein was outed in October for pervasive abuse of power and rampant sexual assault over his decades-long career.
None of the colleagues who called for grace for Franken were women, though.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin criticized lawmakers who demanded Franken's head on a spit and then embraced him for pledging to quit.
'I hope they have enough guts... and enough conscience and enough heart to say, "Al, we made a mistake asking prematurely for you to leave,"' Manchin said.
Comedians Bill Maher (R) and Bog Saget (L) are known for their off-color humor, but did they go too far this time, too soon?
The allegations against Franken grew, though, after beginning in mid-November when Tweeden came forward as part of the #MeToo movement.
Franken apologized for his actions that involved Tweeden, and she accepted that apology, saying:
'The apology, sure I accept it, yes. People make mistakes and of course he knew he made a mistake. So yes I do accept that apology. There's no reason why I shouldn't accept his apology.'
She added that Congress, not her, must decide whether to hold an ethics investigation into Franken's actions.
'People make mistakes. I’m not calling for him to step down. That’s not my place to say that,' she said.
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Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5235719/Bill-Maher-mocks-Al-Frankens-groping-photo-Bob-Saget.html