In this industry, whether women say something or bite their tongue, we get screwed out of work. The comedy industry has always been called a boys club, but that’s not as accurate of a label as an anti-woman club, because these experiences, and the stories I’ve heard my fellow females tell, are attempts to force us out, scare us away. It is worth mentioning that there are, of course, male comics who are safe, and treat women as well as men. I am fortunate, these days, to tour mostly with those guys, but holding out for those opportunities has greatly limited the amount I work. I know a lot of truly brilliant women who have quit comedy because of this bullshit. Sometimes, winning the prize money isn’t worth staying the night in a haunted house.
It really can't be stressed enough that these horror stories are a constant reality for so many people in comedy, they always have been, and they always will be, until people with the power to force change decide that they're not okay with this happening anymore—not only to the people they know but also to people they don't. Lately I've been struggling to see what exactly is worth saving about an industry where the majority sentiment is "Let's just wait for these problems to solve themselves."
So long as I'm here. Perhaps you saw comedian Dave Smith call for the abolishment of vaccine mandates and OSHA this morning:
The libertarian position is to end all covid restrictions immediately. End all vaccine mandates and passports immediately. And abolish OSHA immediately.November 4, 2021
Here's the punchline: Dave Smith, who is currently positioning himself to run for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, has also called for the abolishment of public schools and public welfare. He has said Abraham Lincoln was "on the wrong side of the Civil War." Four years ago he called neo-Nazis Richard Spencer and Chris Cantwell, currently on trial for their roles in the "Unite the Right" rally that same year, reasonable and talented. He frequently praises his friend and fellow traveler Tom Woods, the secessionist co-founder of SPLC-designated hate group League of the South, whose members were arrested at that rally, where one reportedly "led crowds of white nationalists in headlong scrums against counterprotesters." Last year he said he's benefited from reading neo-Nazis, who taught him "how incredibly fucked up the Treaty of Versailles and the American military campaign against the German people was." This weekend his comedy group is hosting a sold-out festival at The Secret Group in Houston, Texas, co-produced by The Creek and The Cave owner Rebecca Trent.
Again, these problems won't solve themselves.