Arj Barker Defends Decision to Boot Breastfeeding Mom From Comedy Show

Comedian Arj Barker released a statement on Monday defending his decision to ask a breastfeeding mother to leave his show in Australia this weekend because her baby allegedly disrupted the performance.

The American comedian was on stage at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theater on Saturday night as part of the city’s international comedy festival when he asked mother, Trish Faranda, and her 7-month-old daughter, Clara, to leave. About 10 other people also left the show in solidarity, Faranda said. Age.

Faranda says her baby laughed and gurgled occasionally during the show and that she began breastfeeding when Clara started “moaning.” It was at that point, she claims, that Barker stood in front of her and while speaking into the microphone, “he was basically saying that I was interrupting his rhythm and that I should leave,” she said. she declared. Age. “Then he turned to the crowd for support and said, ‘Get out.’

She said some women sitting near her encouraged her to stay while other audience members laughed at her as she walked out, feeling too uncomfortable to stay at the show. “It was just quite humiliating,” Faranda said.

Another person in the audience said it was “really awkward” when the Flight of the Concordes The star asked Faranda to leave, even though the baby was “making a little noise, like babies do.” They added that they were shocked to see people heckling Faranda as she left.

In an Instagram post Monday, Barker gave his side of the story in a statement under the caption: “BabyGate: Let’s clear the air.”

“The Athenaeum (sic) was rather full and everyone seemed in a good mood,” he wrote. “Then I heard a baby – not crying but ‘talking’ like they do – a few rows from the stage. I made a few jokes about the baby not disrupting my show, and they were well received, and then I moved on.

A few minutes later, Barker writes, the baby “screamed again.” “Now I was very worried,” he wrote. “In my experience as an actress for almost 35 years, public attention is a delicate thing. If a noise or movement distracts people in the middle of a joke, the benefits can be significantly diminished.

He said it was at that point, with about 50 minutes left in the show, that he “made a tough decision.” “I then calmly informed the woman holding the baby that the baby could not stay,” Barker wrote. “I felt bad for doing it and I said it at the time as well as several times throughout the rest of the series. When he left, I offered him a refund, as a sign of goodwill.

Barker described his decision as a “very difficult decision” that he made “on behalf of the other 700 or so audience members who deserved to see the show they paid for, without interruption.” He also said he felt it was “fair to point out that, as is clearly stated on the ticket purchase site, this show was “strictly for audiences 15 and over” and that the theater “Should have reported this before sitting her down, but for some reason they didn’t.

The comedian also said it was “patently false” to suggest his decision had anything to do with Faranda breastfeeding, saying he “couldn’t see well enough to know whether she was or not » because of the bright lights in his eyes. and the audience sitting in the dark. “It was EVERYTHING to do with the AUDIO disruption of my show, nothing more,” he wrote. “For the record, I support public breastfeeding because it’s perfectly natural.”

“It was a complicated situation, and I did what I thought was right, but I feel bad for any upset this caused to the parties involved, my fans or my babies,” Barker added.

The incident caused mixed reactions in Australia, with some expressing outrage at Barker’s actions, while others defended him in light of the age restrictions imposed on the series.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival told Australia’s ABC in a statement that it was aware of the incident, but said it was not responsible for Barker’s performance.

“Arj is produced independently and at a venue not managed by the festival. However, any interaction between artists and their audience requires sensitivity and respect,” said a festival spokesperson. “At festival-run venues, baby-holding is generally allowed, but we ask people to sit on their backs with their child so that they can leave quickly and easily if the baby becomes noisy, so as not to disturb the artist and other customers. »

Gn entert
News Source : www.thedailybeast.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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