August 6, 2020
For years, sexual predators have infested the live comedy scene. But female comedians are demanding action. Is this British standup’s #MeToo moment?
‘If this was a normal office where, on your first day, someone higher up than you goes: ‘Here’s a list of guys in the office who might rape you,’ you would go straight to HR. But there’s no HR – there’s nowhere we can go to say this is happening,” says Laura Duddy, who started out in standup comedy last year.
“For new comics, it’s normal that a more established comic will give them a list of open-mic gigs to try,” says Ellie Calnan, who began standup 18 months ago. “Whereas for women, it’s: ‘Here’s the people and gigs to avoid.’”