Comic Kelly Bachman went viral after a dramatic confrontation with film producer and alleged serial rapist Harvey Weinstein.
Bachman arrived at an Actor’s Hour event on October 23 in a New York City bar to perform a standup set when she saw Weinstein, the man who sparked the #MeToo movement after several gruesome allegations of sexual assault, in the front row. Bachman, a survivor of sexual assault, quickly changed her set and added several new jokes to protest Weinstein’s attendance.
Bachman began her performance by addressing Weinstein directly, referring to him as a literal “elephant in the room” and comparing him to horror villain Freddy Kruger. A male voice called for Bachman to, “Shut up!” but the comic continued. “I didn’t know we had to bring our own Mace and rape whistles to Actor’s Hour.”
The audience did not respond well to Bachman’s set, and she was quickly heckled off the stage. Actor Zoe Stuckless and comedian Amber Rollo, two other women who stood up to Weinstein throughout the night, were also asked to leave the event.
Bachman later wrote that she was “not surprised” at the audience’s response, “because that response is so terrifyingly familiar to me and most survivors.” Bachman also recognizes that most of the work required to hold assailants accountable falls on the survivors, but urgently demands change. “I want other people to speak up for us so that we don’t have to. I want it to become normal to name the elephant in the room. And I don’t ever want to become comfortable sharing space with a monster.”
Actors Hour has since apologized for allowing Weinstein to attend the performance. “I want to sincerely apologize to any people — male or female — who were re-traumatized, hurt, or felt disrespected this week at Actors Hour,” their statement read. “Mr. Weinstein will not be attending any future Actor’s Hour events.”