Comedian Kelly Bachman was performing at Actors Hour in New York City on Wednesday night when she decided to call out Harvey Weinstein. The disgraced producer was sitting in the audience at the event showcasing budding talent, and when Bachman took the stage, she confronted Weinstein during her set, prompting boos from the audience. Fellow comedian Amber Rollo and another attendee Zoe Stuckless claimed they were kicked out of the venue for approaching Weinstein. As video of the encounters went viral, celebs have taken to social media to show their support for the people who challenged the alleged sexual predator.
"I'm a comic and it's our job to name the elephant in the room," Bachman said at the start of her set, as seen in a video shared to Twitter. "I didn't know that we had to bring our own Mace and rape whistles to Actors Hour." When she was told to "shut up" for her comment by a man in the audience, Bachman remarked, "This kills at group therapy for rape survivors." She then revealed she is a survivor herself. "I have been raped, surprisingly by no one in this room, but I've never gotten to confront those guys, so just a general 'F*ck you,'" she said before returning to her regular set.
Bachman's direct address to Weinstein has received praise from many celebrities, including those who have been active in the Time's Up movement. Melissa Fumero, Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Glaser, Patricia Arquette, Hilarie Burton (who accused former Weinstein collaborator Ben Affleck of sexual misconduct, which Affleck apologized for on Twitter), and Alyssa Milano all celebrated Bachman on Twitter.
Saturday Night Live's Chris Redd and John Mulaney also acknowledged the situation. And Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of rape — a claim an attorney for Weinstein called "a bold lie," in a statement to Bustle — called Bachman and Stuckless "heroes."
In interviews with BuzzFeed News and The Cut, Bachman explained her mindset upon seeing Weinstein at her performance. "I'm comfortable enough to talk about my experience," Bachman told BuzzFeed. "But when I'm sitting in the room with a monster that people are supporting, it just sucked the air out of my chest." She added to The Cut, "I've literally had nightmares about running into Harvey Weinstein. The fact that it came to life, it truly felt like Freddy Krueger. I wish I'd said more."
Stuckless (who uses they/their pronouns) and Rollo have also shared their experiences of being kicked out of the event after they directly confronted Weinstein at his table. Stuckless shared a video of themselves angrily pointing at Weinstein, shocked that no one else was addressing the situation. Rollo claimed she was called a slur by one of the people attending the event with Weinstein when she approached the disgraced producer after Stuckless.
Bachman may not have directly confronted Weinstein, but she had the same goal as Stuckless and Rollo. "I didn't want to make everyone comfortable," Bachman told BuzzFeed. "I didn't want to make light of this person and make everyone feel good about it."
A representative for Weinstein responded to the incident, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "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." Weinstein has been accused by more than 80 women of sexual abuse — many of them actors. Weinstein has denied breaking any laws, issuing a statement via his attorney in 2018 denying any allegations of nonconsensual sex. He recently pleaded not guilty to a rape charge in New York City, and is currently out on $1 million bail.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.