Meet Kelly Bachman — Comic Who Slammed Harvey Weinstein While He Sat In The Audience

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Kelly Bachman? New Details On The Comic Who Slammed Harvey Weinstein While He Sat In The Audience
Entertainment And News

Comics don't get to pick their audiences when they perform in public. But at the same time, comedy audiences don't get to pick the material comics perform for them. That became abundantly clear to Kelly Bachman went she arrived to perform stand-up at an event called The Actor's Hour and she found Harvey Weinstein sitting in the audience. As a sexual assault survivor, Bachman was not thrilled to be performing for an infamous serial rapist. Weinstein is currently awaiting trial on two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act and two counts of rape, for a total of five charges. He has been credibly accused of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment by over 80 women.

As for Weinstein, if he was hoping to enjoy a night of comedy that didn't refer to allegations of rape against him, well, he was out of luck. When Bachmann took the stage, she made a series of pointed jokes about there being a monster in the audience and quipped that she has been sexually assaulted "surprisingly not by anyone in this room."

Bachman shared a video of her set on Twitter and the incident blew up. It's been liked more than 90 thousand times and Kelly has been interviewed repeatedly about using stand-up to stand up to Weinstein. 

Who is Kelly Bachman? Read on for the details. 

1. What should I say? 

Bachman is a comic, producer, and filmmaker who was invited to perform at The Actor's Hour. The monthly show is an event that features young performers. Weinstein was an invited member of the audience and was sitting at a reserved table near the back with some friends. 

Bachman tells Variety that she saw Weinstein immediately. "I arrived at the venue, Downtime, and when I walked in, to my left I saw him sitting at a table surrounded by friends, and I did kind of a triple, quadruple take of “Are you kidding me. Harvey Weinstein is not in jail?” She was in a state of panic, asking friends and other audience members if she should mention him in her set. She had been hoping to get a tape of her performance to use later in her reel and wasn't sure she wanted to ruin the tape by ad-libbing about Weinstein.

"And I saw him there, and I thought, 'I’m going to have to say something, and it’s going to ruin my tape.' And my friend next to me said, 'Just do your regular set, don’t let him ruin your tape. You wanted your tape; get your tape. He can’t take that from you.' And I was like, 'Yeah! I’m going to get my tape,'' she recalled, "And then I saw him over there, and I just saw so many people treating him like it was normal and talking to him, and I was just like, 'Ugh,' and I asked the woman next to me, 'Should I say something? It’s Harvey Weinstein, I gotta say something, right? I’m about to do stand up.' And she said, 'No don’t say anything.' And she said it in such a way that I was like, 'Oh, I have to say something.'"

She even took it to social media, the Washington Post reports, posting “Performing stand-up on a show and Harvey Weinstein is visibly watching. What do I talk about?"

RELATED: Meet Emily Nestor — Former Weinstein Company Temp Leading Sexual Harassment Fight Against Him

2. Freddy Krueger in the room

Once she took the stage, Bachman just went for it. She grabbed the mic and opened with jokes about everyone trying to ignore Weinstein as he sat in the back of the room. "I’m a comic, and it’s our job to name the elephant in the room; do we know what that is?” she said in a now-viral video. “It’s a Freddy Krueger in the room if you will. I didn’t know that we had to bring our own mace and rape whistle to Actor’s Hour.”

No one had a camera trained on Weinstein's table so we don't know his reaction to being compared to a horror movie monster, a horror movie he never profited off, at that. Some other audience members started to boo Bachman and one even called out "Shut up!" Bachman didn't blink. "This kills at group therapy for rape survivors," she improvised. "I have been raped, surprisingly by no one in this room. But I never got to confront those guys. So just a general fuck you to whoever..." she then trailed off as women in the audience cheered.

Bachman didn't shy away from making jokes about Weinstein.

3. Heckling Harvey in the bar

New Yorkers are known for trying to remain nonchalant when they run across celebrities and most of the audience was doing that with Weinstein. A woman named Zoe Stuckless couldn't take it anymore and approached Weinstein's table. She tried to speak to him and eventually became overwrought, crying and yelling "Nobody’s going to say anything!? Nobody’s really going to say anything!? I’m going to stand four feet from a f**king rapist and nobody’s going to say anything?” She was asked to leave after that. 

TRENDING NOW on YourTango

Bachman's friend and fellow comic Amber Rollo also tried to confront Weinstein. She told the Washington Post that he barely responded when she spoke to him.  “He didn’t really say much of anything,” Rollo told The Post. “He just looked at me sort of dead-eyed.”

In a tweet about the incident, she said "Then I went in and called him a fucking monster and told him he should disappear. His friend/bodyguard/goon/family member called me a c*nt and I really really wanted to lunge over the table and strangle him."  In a second tweet, she said "I restrained myself, now that I'm sober I no longer throw drinks or fists. There was a woman at the table with him who gently guided me out. I don't know who she is but I hope she is ok." 

Stuckless yells at Weinstein.

4. Rape Jokes By Survivors

This isn't the first time Bachman has made rape a center point of comedy, Kelly is a rape survivor herself. She told Variety that she has been assaulted by three different people. While that gives her a perspective on the place of rape jokes in comedy, it isn't a unique perspective. She is one of the producers of a comedy show called Rape Jokes By Survivors, where comics who have sexual assault in their past work that into their stand-up. It's a jarring concept but Bachman thinks that it's important to hear from survivors in all aspects of the culture. “We need other voices commenting on this because it’s huge,” Bachman said in an interview with Elle, “and it’s a comic’s job to comment on painful news and to help people find a way to laugh about it and think about it.”

The show creates a venue for survivors — both performers and audience members — to process sexual assault in a different way. One of the performers says that everyone in the room is there for the same reason. "It’s a very consensual audience, ironically,” says Brittany Brave. “We all know what we’re getting into.”

“This is people taking the power back and telling the story they want to tell in the way they want to tell it,” Bachman says. “They’re not going to tell the story they had to tell the press or the court. We’re going into the room assuming we all believe the comics — assuming that they’re safe to say what they need to say.”

RELATED: New Details On Black Cube, The Israeli Spy Agency Harvey Weinstein Hired To Discredit His Accusers

5. Weinstein's rep responds

After the incident, a rep for Weinstein spoke with the Hollywood Reporter about what happened. "Harvey Weinstein was out with friends enjoying the music and trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down. This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public, trying to take it away in the courtroom too."

It is worth noting that Weinstein's life would not have been turned upside down if he had refrained from sexually assaulting dozens of people over the course of his career. 

His rep didn't see it that way though and went on to say "I would just point out that he is being treated as if he has been convicted. Accusations are, in fact, not convictions. Due process is still the foundation of each and every one of our civil rights in this country." 

While due process is a building block of our judicial system, it is not a building block of comedy shows. Comics are permitted to say what they want on stage, as Bachmann did. As for the women who approached Weinstein to tell him what they thought of him, they were also not impinging his due process rights. They were insulting him and were asked to leave. That is due process for people yelling at other people in bars. So really, Weinstein doesn't have much to complain about. 

RELATED: 'Marco Polo' Producer Alleges Harvey Weinstein Sexually Assaulted Her For Years, Threatened Her Career

6. He's the boogeyman to me

Bachman is standing by her reaction to performing for a notorious rapist. She told The Wrap "I’ve literally had nightmares about Harvey Weinstein. I’m a survivor myself. He is the boogeyman to me. We’re a bunch of young actors in a basement with someone who is known for hurting young actors. I just don’t understand why [the organizers] would want him at their party, but it really freaked me out.”

Since the video went viral, Bachman has gained over 70 thousand followers on Twitter.

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.