‘People think it’s some weird rite of passage’: standing up to sexual harassment in comedy

‘People think it’s some weird rite of passage’: standing up to sexual harassment in comedy

The Guardian

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Live comedy’s lack of regulation has enabled sexist and predatory behaviour but a group of female standups have ambitious plans to overhaul the industry

Irish comedian Ruth Hunter started standup in 2015. She immediately noticed “everyday sexism” – male comperes introducing performers by commenting on their breasts, all-male lineups – but was unsure how to challenge it.

Over the summer of 2020, now in Glasgow, Hunter followed the news as sexual harassment allegations against men in Irish and UK comedy were shared online. “Someone who I thought was grand turned out to be a major creep and it unlocked something,” Hunter says. “You might be threatening your own career by talking about this stuff, but I don’t care. The stakes are too high.”

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