Harvey Weinstein's presence at an event supporting young actors at a Lower Manhattan bar Wednesday night ignited more than a few tense moments, including protests, shouting and one person being removed from the facility. According to a new report from BuzzFeed News, the disgraced Hollywood mogul showed up at the Downtime Bar in New York City; the night's performers did not hold back in calling him out.
Weinstein, who is set to stand trial in New York this January over rape allegations, reportedly "turned up with an entourage to watch Actor's Hour, a monthly event 'dedicated to artists' at the Downtime bar in the Lower East Side," BuzzFeed reports. By the end of the night, one angry woman comedian had been booed and two attendees were thrown out after the bar when they protested his appearance.
Comedian Kelly Bachman called out Weinstein from onstage, calling him "the elephant in the room" and "Freddie Krueger" during her set. "I didn't know we had to bring our own Mace and rape whistles to Actor's Hour," she said.
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"I'm comfortable enough to talk about my experience, but when I'm sitting in the room with a monster that people are supporting, it just sucked the air out of my chest," she told BuzzFeed News. "It kind of felt like old-school Harvey to me — having his own table in a Lower East Side bar, surrounded by actors."
Another comedian, Andrew B. Silas, also tried to speak his mind. "Who in this room produced Good Will Hunting? 'Cause that s— was great," he said.
Silas said that shortly before performing, one of the show's organizers asked performers not to mention Weinstein's presence. Silas said he did not mean for his Good Will Hunting joke to support the producer and instead intended it to play off and remind people of Bachman's earlier joke.
Another performer, 21-year-old Zoe Stuckless, said they saw Weinstein enter the bar using a walker. "As his little booth filled out, his demeanor changed. And it became really apparent that it was who were thought he was," Stuckless told BuzzFeed.
"So many women have suffered so greatly because of their experiences with this man, and there were no repercussions," Stuckless, who uses they/them pronouns, said. "And, in fact, he was being supported — and the community meant to uplift emerging actors and emerging artists was not only complicit but directly responsible for their silencing."
In a YouTube video of the night, Stuckless can be seen attempting to confront Weinstein. "Weinstein placed his elbows on the table while another man next to him was heard speaking to Stuckless. [Stuckless] said the man accompanying Weinstein told them it was none of their business and that they had no right to ask," wrote BuzzFeed's Amber Jamieson.
They were then escorted out of the venue. "This guy was leading me out the stairs, just repeating 'due process, due process,' to me," Stuckless said. They were unclear if the escort was a bar employee.
On Facebook, Downtime Bar labeled Stuckless as a heckler: "Shortly into the evening, one guest began heckling another, causing a disturbance to everyone in attendance. After several requests to stop were ignored, we kindly asked the heckler to leave."
Performer Amber Rollo also confronted Weinstein and his companions. "You're a f—ing monster. What are you doing out here? F— you," Rollo reportedly said. One of Weinstein's companions allegedly called Rollo a "c—."0comments
Actor's Hour organizer Alexandra Laliberte said that was not the first time Weinstein has made an appearance at one of her events. "I welcome all walks of life into my space," she told BuzzFeed. "I protect them by freedom of speech."
Photo credit: Neilson Barnard / Staff / Getty