Comedian Phoebe Robinson called out comedy clubs for allowing sexual predators to perform in a take-no-prisoners Instagram video
After the #MeToo movement uncovered sexual harassment and abuse allegations against dozens of powerful men, many wondered how these accusations would affect the accused. A little more than a year later, some of these men, like Louis C.K., have already started to return to work. And in a January 23rd Instagram post, comedian Phoebe Robinson called out comedy clubs for allowing alleged rapists and predators to continue to have a platform.
In her video, Robinson revealed that she had recently been scheduled to perform a set at a comedy club, only to discover when she arrived that there was a “surprise, drop-in comedian” who had been accused of rape. The 2 Dope Queens host said she left, and she urged comedy clubs to do better.
“Comedy clubs, there of course is no HR, but we have to do better,” she said. “We can’t have alleged rapists, sexual predators, abusers performing on the show. It’s not safe for the comedians. It’s not safe for the audience. It’s f-cking disrespectful to the victims. And enough is enough. You can’t have those people on these shows, so knock it off, it’s not okay. Have some f-cking respect for the victims. This is disgusting behavior, and it’s gotta stop.”
Robinson’s message comes at a critical time. For all the progress the #MeToo movement has helped to achieve, most accused rapists never face legal repercussions. According to RAINN, only 46 out of every 1,000 rapes lead to arrest, and only 4.6 end with the rapist imprisoned. And in many cases, men like C.K. (who has openly admitted to sexually harassing women) return to work despite their misconduct.
Giving sexual abusers a platform as if literally nothing happened ignores the trauma and experiences of their victims—and there’s simply no excuse. We’re so glad Robinson is speaking out about this. Now, let’s hope comedy clubs actually listen.
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