A prominent Brisbane comedian has come forward about some far-from-acceptable experiences within Brisbane's comedy scene.
After sitting on the first of two unpleasant occurences for almost a year, she has taken to social media detailing her experiences. While hosting an open mic comedy event last year, the well-known identity detailed how a male comedian (whom scenestr has chosen not to name in line with the wishes of the victim) manipulated her friendly, on-stage handshake as an opportunity to get more physical with her.
"He used my handshake to pull me to him, wrap his other arm around me and forcibly kiss my neck.
"I pushed back with all my strength, but I wasn’t strong enough to stop him. I had one arm trapped between us, and he had the force of both of his.” Her post reports how she called him out on stage.
"I back announced him to never f...ing touch me again, I didn’t get the chance to do it in person again as he left.”
And just in the past month she became aware of another comedy event (run by different promoters) where a 'game' was played to determine the running order of the night. The order was determined by throwing darts at an image of her face.
"Why me?" she said in the Facebook post. "The point of all this [The Facebook Post] is to ask those who threw the dart and said nothing to think a little harder. And that goes metaphorically as well."
The comedian, who has an impressive 20 years' experience in the realms of comedy, public speaking and corporate work, has proven the power of speaking out. Since writing the post, which has more than 150 reactions and a number of shares, there has been some important closure and a positive response.
The man running the room with the dartboard has now apologised for his lack of vigilance, and for the hurt caused. He claims he was unaware of whose face the image was. Regardless of whether his claim is true, one must ask, does it make any difference?". Upon receiving the complaint, Sit Down Comedy Club, under whose umbrella the open mic night was held, immediately said the comedian responsible for the alleged assault will never be on one of their stages again.
Sit Down Comedy Club told scenestr, "Situations like [these] ... have absolutely no place at a Sit Down Comedy Club show, let alone in general society. To us, it is no laughing matter; and we will not hesitate to excise perpetrator/s from our community at the very first instance. We praise the courage and fortitude of the Author of the original Facebook post in speaking out about her experiences so that others in our industry can start reflecting on their own behaviours and actions. Remaining silent is complicit behaviour and the best way to eliminate future instances of these types of occurrences is by having everyone support each other by calling out bad behaviour when it’s evidenced."
The comedian finished her social media exposé with "... comedians, I ask you to do better. To think better. Everyone should feel safe in our industry – and this is one example why I don’t. To those outside the industry, look after each other. "
Or, you know, just. . . Don't violate people.
Change is possible if you have the strength to come forward about experiences like this. To the comedian who has shared these words, thank you for being an example of that.