Jeers for Harvey Weinstein at NYC actors showcase

‘The elephant in the room’

Women confront Weinstein at comedy club

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein was mocked from the stage and jeered by attendees at a New York City actors showcase this week — a rare public appearance for the disgraced movie mogul ahead of his January rape trial.

A comedian at Wednesday’s “Actor’s Hour” referred to Weinstein during her set as “the elephant in the room,” likened him to horror villain Freddy Krueger and said she “didn’t know we had to bring our own Mace and rape whistles” to the event.

An actor tried questioning Weinstein, and another attendee shouted that he was a “monster.” Both people were told to leave the Manhattan bar where the event took place, while comedian Kelly Bachman’s commentary drew boos from some in the audience and one person yelled “shut up.”

TW: Harvey Weinstein. Last night I was booked to perform stand-up on a variety show at Downtime Bar NYC in Lower East Side, sponsored by an organization for artists Actor's Hour - A Speakeasy for Artists! (Fundraiser Underground Edition) They film their events, and it seemed like a great opportunity for me to get a tape. I brought my new 10 min. set, excited to work it out in a warm room of my peers. Instead I found the boogeyman himself, Harvey Weinstein, sitting at a reserved table with his friends. He was INVITED by Actors Hour—I’m told that he was specifically invited by their founder, Alexandra Laliberte. I saw he was there right away, but no one in the room was saying anything out loud. I learned from a whisper that Weinstein was invited to Actors Hour’s last event as well, and that he would not be asked to leave. A few audience members seemed terrified into silence while others were unaffected or even seemed to admire him. The few performers before me said nothing about it on stage. I whispered to an audience member, “I have to say something, right?” She said “No, don’t—” and looked away. At this point I was in total shock, but I really really wanted to get this new tape! I got on stage and tried my best to address him before carrying on with my set. I l was boo’d and told to “shut up” by men in the back of the room. I was shaking and hot-faced the entire time, in a traumatized state from my own experiences as a survivor of rape. I’ve literally had nightmares about seeing Harvey Weinstein in New York, the way I have nightmares about Stephen King’s It or Freddy Krueger. And he was 50 feet away from me, staring with shark eyes, surrounded by his allies. After I went up, the next few performers also did not address It. One comic seemed to want to make fun of ME by saying “I’d like to address an elephant in the room too. Is the producer of Goodwill Hunting here? That’s a great movie.” During the show’s intermission a brave as hell woman (who I do not know the name of!) finally yelled out and cried, demanding that Harvey Weinstein be asked to leave. She was kicked out instead. I left with her and bad ass Amber Rollo who called Harvey Weinstein a fucking monster, only to be called a “cunt” by his friend and also escorted out. I later learned that the emcee of the show was one of the people who boo’d me. He told someone that I shouldn’t have brought it up unless I was going to be funny and make everyone comfortable. To be clear, I don’t want to make anyone comfortable about this. I was uncomfortable. I am still uncomfortable. I have no idea why an organization created to support actors is protecting a man who has raped, blackmailed and ruined the careers of actors, but I do not regret speaking out against that. I really wish I could’ve said more, or been more funny, but this is what I said. I'll post the rest of the set at some point just to prove that SOME of it was funny 😁 But really, fuck them and fuck Downtime Bar ❤️these are NOT safe spaces for artists. Please do NOT support them. Support survivors and believe them. Here's Actors Hour's website by the way, in case you want to send them a note. https://www.actorshour.com/

Posted by Kelly Bachman on Thursday, October 24, 2019

Weinstein, 67, faces a January trial in Manhattan on charges he raped a woman in a hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. He maintains any sexual activity was consensual.

Weinstein, free on $1 million bail, is subject to electronic monitoring and limited to travel in New York and Connecticut.

Weinstein’s representatives said in a statement that the producer went to “Actor’s Hour” with friends, “trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down” and that the outbursts were rude and uncalled for.

PLEASE READ AND SHARE THIS WHOLE THING!! Tonight was one of the most surreal nights of my life. I went to an event...

Posted by Zoe Stuckless on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Spokesman Juda Englemayer added in an email Friday that Weinstein was "being treated as if he has been convicted."

"Due process is still the foundation of each and every one of our civil rights in this country," he said.

The host of "Actor's Hour," Alexandra Laliberte, apologized Friday for how the evening unfolded and said the actor who confronted Weinstein at his table should have been given the microphone to vocalize their feelings, instead of being asked to leave.

Laliberte, in a statement posted on the event’s Facebook page, said she chose to let Weinstein stay because no one objected when he arrived. She said she was not prepared to handle what became a “high-energy situation” surrounding the #MeToo figure.

"I am deeply saddened that this was not only triggering for attendees, but that they ultimately felt unsafe — some even outraged — when a safe environment is, at its core, what I set out to create," Laliberte said. "Creating an environment that is at once safe but also leaves open forum for free speech is an extremely fragile endeavor."

Actors Hour was built with the purpose of creating our own tables in an industry that oftentimes leaves so many artists...

Posted by Actor's Hour - A Speakeasy on Friday, October 25, 2019

Weinstein and his entourage had nothing to do with the removal of the people who criticized him, spokesman Englemayer said. Weinstein, in a statement issued through the spokesman, said he welcomed such dialogue.

"I am happy to address anyone's questions, and I invite anyone to ask," Weinstein said in the statement. "We should all be offered the courtesy to voice opinions and be heard, and to even get answers. Nothing happened other than someone voicing concerns. I am glad we all still have these rights."

In recent weeks, two books — “She Said” and “Catch and Kill” — have been published chronicling the reporting by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The New York Times and Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker that exposed Weinstein’s alleged behavior and the tactics the journalists say he used to try to thwart their reporting efforts.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.