You’re invited to perform at a monthly live show in the part of the East Village formerly known as Alphabet City, and you’re excited not only because the show promises a chance for networking, but also a free videotape, which you really could use to show to club and TV bookers.
But a #MeToo pariah is sitting in the audience. It’s Harvey Weinstein. Everyone can see him. What would you do?
Kelly Bachman called an audible, and ad-libbed right from the get-go.
“I’m feeling a little tense. Anybody else?” Bachman opened. “I’m a comic. And it’s our job to name the elephant in the room. Do we know what that is? Yeah. It’s Freddy Krueger in the room, if you will. I didn’t know that we had to bring our own Mace and rape whistles to Actor’s Hour.”
A male voice loudly booed before she finished the sentence. “BOOOOOO! Boo.” “Shut up,” added a second male voice.
“Oh, shut up? Yeah.”
“This kills at group therapy for rape survivors,” she replied. “They love it, yeah.” A woman (possibly the one filming her set) whoops in support. Others join in and applaud her.
“Yeah, I have been raped. Surprisingly, by no one in this room, but I’ve never gotten to confront those guys. So, just a general fuck you to whoever I … (her voice is drowned out by the women supporting her)”
A male comedian later followed Bachman onstage, but made a joke praising Weinstein’s backing of Good Will Hunting.
Andrew Manning, a comic on the show, Tweeted Thursday that he had no idea Weinstein was in the room, writing: “I wasn’t in the room a lot. There were only a few comics doing 5 min each on a 3 hour plus variety show. I saw Kelly’s set and didn’t get what she was talking about but after that I saw nothing.”
The show, also featuring musical acts, plus actors and actresses performing monologues, included an intermission. At which point two other women more directly confronted Weinstein, who remained seated at a reserved table with an entourage partially shielding him. Both of the women got escorted out of the club.
One of them was another comedian, Amber Rollo, who wasn’t on the lineup but performs with Bachman in a band called Boys Drool; together, they also put on a free monthly stand-up show in Bushwick called Stoked (Rollo sometimes emails me about it for listing purposes, so here’s a big plug! Their next show is Nov. 7 at Mad Tropical). On Monday, Rollo had Tweeted about no longer wanting to support Quentin Tarantino after she learned the filmmaker continued supporting Weinstein even after knowing how many women the movie mogul had allegedly raped and sexually assaulted. She never would have guessed she’d see Weinstein sitting feet away from her two nights later.
Rollo recounted, via Twitter, what happened when she did. “I was shocked to see him out, but not because I thought he would have shame, he is a sociopath and clearly has no shame. I’m shocked because he was invited to an event put on by and for artists. Downtime Bar NYC, you might remember it as Mockingbird in LES, allowed this man to stay at this event put on by Actors Hour. Actors Hour and the woman who runs it Alexandra Laliberte apparently invited Harvey Weinstein. Not only was he invited he was supported. My friend and bad ass comedian @bellykachman was performing on the show and when she went after “Freddy Krueger” SHE was booed and told to shut up. Some people didn’t realize what was going on, some artists knew and were scared and some were outright supporting this fucking serial rapist monster. At the show’s intermission a woman started yelling about him being there. She was shouting and crying and seemed to be the only sane person there. SHE was kicked out. What the actual fuck?! Let me explain that one more time, an event that was supposed to support actors and artists invited a serial rapist who has ruined at least 87 actors lives and supported that monster over an actor in the room. They supported HIM over all the actors in the room. Then I went in and called him a fucking monster and told him he should disappear. His friend/body guard/goon/family member called me a cunt and I really really wanted to lunge over the table and strangle him. I restrained myself, now that I’m sober I no longer throw drinks or fists. There was a woman at the table with him who gently guided me out. I don’t know who she is but I hope she is ok. Please do not support Downtime Bar or Actors Hour, the position they put us in is horrifying. As a white woman it’s my privilege, and sometimes my responsibility to ask to speak to the manager. I will use that nagging for good as often as I can.”
Weinstein’s reps released this statement Thursday: “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.”
Downtime Bar responded via Instagram Stories, and did so by siding with Weinstein? The bar’s management first shifted blame to Actors Hour, saying the show had rented the space for a private event, so they controlled the guest list. So Downtime merely wanted to keep the peace for the guests. No matter who they may be?
Bachman, meanwhile, had only Tweeted once before Thursday. By 5 a.m. Friday, she had amassed 42,300 Twitter followers.
It helped that comedians all over America had her back.
Tim J. Dillon: “This is badass. Harvey Weinstein showed up to some actors event and this comic lit him up. Good for @bellykachman. Follow her”
Nikki Glaser: “I am floored and inspired by this woman’s bravery. Weinstein was in the room.”
Mitra Jouhari: “I think this is so awesome. Harvey Weinstein was in the room. Doing things like this is so scary. @bellykachman this is awesome and legit brave and you were funny while standing up to him to boot.”
Auggie Smith: “My new favorite comic @bellykachman got on stage only to find Harvey Weinstein in the audience! She called it out beautifully and didn’t back down in the face of some lunatics booing. Bravo Kelly Bachman, I hope I have the honor of sharing the stage with you soon.”
How this didn’t make news a month ago is anyone’s guess. Because it happened last month, too. Weinstein had a reserved table for the Actor’s Hour showcase, and at least one comedian addressed him. Someone posted a video Thursday night on Twitter claiming to be that performance, but had deleted the video and the Twitter account by dawn.
Ashleigh Carter performed on the Actor’s Hour show in September, and confirmed via Twitter that Weinstein had a reserved seat then and there, too.
“I performed at last month’s event he showed up to,” Carter wrote. “A comedian called him out and it was insanely uncomfortable. The organizer freaked out & had the MC make an announcement about “compassion.” They straight up lied about not inviting him, as they were buddy buddy all night. He had a booth saved for him as if he was still Hollywood royalty. I only know it was reserved for him because I tried to sit there before the show started and was told to move. The fact that he is still a “somebody” To people is wild and insanely offensive to his victims. Proud of the comedians who called him out. People are still afraid of him. We just wanted to make the room laugh, but those girls called out his old crusty sack of potatoes ass and I’m happy they did.”
One of the posts on the Actors Hour site from before this week’s show reads: “Our producer @alexandralaliberte has some exciting news to share!! Not only are we open for October 23rd (tickets in Bio) … but we’re also gearing towards November for our biggest event yet at HOUSE OF YES- November 18th!!!! HOLY MOLY!!! Make sure to sign up to the mailing list at our website at www.actorshour.com for updates. It’s going to be crazyyyyyyy #actors #actorshour #acting #performance”
If having you submit to audition for the chance to perform for Harvey Weinstein in 2019 isn’t crazy already, then what is?