The letter has surfaced online, and while it acknowledges that "What Al did was stupid and foolish," it goes on to describe Franken as "a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honourable public servant."
The signees continue to say that none of them "ever experienced any inappropriate behaviour," and that Franken treated all of them "with the utmost respect and regard."
In a particularly tone-deaf ending, the letter closes with Thanksgiving well wishes for Franken and his family.
Among the 36 women who signed the letter are former SNL stars Jane Curtain and Laraine Newman.
Read the full letter and list of signatures below.
Twitter isn't buying the glowing character reference, though. Read a selection of reactions to the letter below.
36 women who worked with Al Franken on SNL have signed a letter of support...I would not be surprised if this has a chilling effect on women speaking out. It was shameful when Fox News hosts did this for Roger Ailes and this letter, at this time, is highly inappropriate. pic.twitter.com/qhuD6MDtpS
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 21, 2017
"well i'm a woman & he's never assaulted me" is much like a serial killer proclaiming "i have plenty of living friends!"— Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) November 21, 2017
Just because he didn't harass *you* doesn't mean he's a "good guy".— Lara Witt (@Femmefeministe) November 21, 2017
Franken spent a total of 15 years on the long-running sketch series as a writer and occasional performer, from 1975 to 1980, and again from 1985 to 1995.
Last week, L.A. radio journalist Leeann Tweeden publicly alleged that Franken sexually assaulted her during a USO tour in 2006, sharing a photograph of the comic-turned-politician groping her while she was asleep. He later issued an apology, and called for an ethics investigation into his behaviour.
On Saturday (November 18), Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" co-host Colin Jost referenced Tweeden's photo, saying, "I know this photo looks bad. But, remember, it also is bad."
Yesterday (November 20), a second woman came forward, alleging that Franken groped her during a photo op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.