Comedian Kelly Bachman used her set at a comedy show to call out predator-producer Weinstein, for which she was forcefully asked to leave.
Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault
At a comedy night hosted by Actors Hour on Wednesday, October 23, at Downtime Bar (previously known as Mockingbird in LES) in New York City, serial rapist Harvey Weinstein was invited to be part of the audience. The event was held in order to support up and coming actors, artists, and stand-up comics. When several women called out Weinstein for attending the event as well as the event organizers for inviting him, the women were "booed, heckled, and asked to leave" — while Weinstein remained seated. One comedian, Kelly Bachman, used her time on stage to call the assaulter out, reports The Guardian.
In an interview with the news outlet, Bachman stated, "I felt like the air was sucked out of the room." When she confronted Weinstein while on stage, there was a shared discomfort between all those present. Nevertheless, she persisted. "I was okay with the fact that there was silence," she said. "In a situation like this, I don’t want people to feel comfortable... I’m a comic, and it’s our job to name the elephant in the room. It’s a Freddy Krueger in the room, if you will. I didn’t realize I needed to bring my own mace and rape whistle to Actors Hour."
She attempted to make jokes about the matter (in an ironic manner, of course) before she was booed and heckled by members of the audience. Someone even shouted "shut up," to which Bachman responded, "Sorry, that [joke] killed at group therapy for rape survivors." This was one of the few times Weinstein has appeared in public after he posted $1 million in bail after being arrested on rape charges. It comes as no surprise that the producer-serial rapist would have experienced such harassment; Bachman was not the only one to put Weinstein on the spot. Fellow comedian Amber Rollo and actor Zoe Stuckless, too, had a moment to confront him.
Rollo and Stuckless explained to The Guardian that they had approached his table and asked, "Nobody’s going to say anything? Nobody’s really going to say anything?" Video footage was captured of their exchange and posted to Facebook. In a post, Stuckless revealed, "His bodyguards herded me out. When I left the building, crying out of fury and frustration I was quickly surrounded by a group of mostly women who expressed the same fear to raise their voice that I had. They thanked me for speaking up."
Following the incident, Weinstein's publicist published an official statement, which affirmed, "Harvey Weinstein was out with friends enjoying the music and trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down. This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public, trying to take it away in the courtroom too." However, it must be remembered that wealth and power do not absolve someone of public criticism, especially when their actions have "ruined at least 87 actors' lives," as Rollo explained in a Twitter thread following the incident. Bachman, a rape survivor herself, concluded, "I was really feeling triggered and in a state of flight or fight. But I felt like I had to say something. We shouldn’t be accepting that this monster can just come attend an industry showcase. I wanted to make people feel uncomfortable about it. And I just hope people stay uncomfortable." Truer words have never been said. If a serial rapist can unravel the lives of dozens of individuals, he can surely take a minute or two of heckling — especially for vicious acts he duly committed.