Exactly three months after women exposed a mediocre dude (comedian Mike Faverman) for sending harassing texts and unsolicited dick picks, another well-known male comedian is in deep water — this time for rape.
A famous club banned comedian Aaron Glaser on Saturday, August 13. Soon after, word trickled through the comedy scene that Glaser has been accused of allegedly raping multiple women.
Upright Citizens Brigade is New York's premier comedy club that Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, and other big-name comedians frequent. An alleged victim sent the text in the below screenshot to women-specific comedy Facebook groups, asking the admin to share so others would know the club banned him.
She copy and pasted the statement the victim allegedly got from the UCB rep, however a since-deleted screenshot of a statement from Glaser's Facebook page (obtained by Revelist) confirms his ban.
UCB's New York, however, did remove Glaser's comic profile (screenshot by Revelist).
Raina Falcon, a representative for UCB, did not confirm or deny that they banned Glaser, but provided Revelist with the following statement:
Hi Mandy. The UCB is not formally commenting on this matter, but I will say that UCB has always had an open door policy and encourages anyone with a complaint or concern regarding sexual harassment to report it immediately to any of our Directors of Student Affairs, who are trained professionals. Any such complaints are always taken very seriously.
A female comedian who reached out to UCB for help agreed to speak with Revelist under the condition of anonymity. She alleges that Glaser sexually assaulted her a few years ago, though she isn't one of the victims who initially came forward.
She told Revelist he assaulted her the same night they met. They did a show together and then went to a bar with a few other comedians. She said she remembers having a drink, but can only recall snapshots from the rest of the night — including being in his apartment and, having as she calls it, "nonconsensual sex."
"I wasn't able to give consent, I couldn't speak, it was like my body was too heavy," she told Revelist. "By the same token, I couldn't say no. In my snapshots, I am trying to move away but again, my body was too heavy to move. As soon as I was physically able I got the hell out."
She thought she'd been the only one who had this experience with Glaser until she learned of other allegations last weekend.
"When this all came out on social media it felt like someone slapped me. I burst into tears and started shaking," she said.
Shortly after, she got in contact with UCB. She said the comedy club provided a lot of support, including counseling.
Revelist contacted UCB to see if they plan to take legal action, but they did not respond to the request for comment. Revelist also contacted the NYPD who indicated only victims have access to filed police reports.
Sexual assault isn't new a phenomenon, but it's especially prevalent in a male-dominated industry like comedy. Sources told Revelist that Glaser's jokes were often demeaning toward women.
The alleged victim who spoke with Revelist said the industry drips with sexism, and there's zero support for women who choose to come forward. So it's not surprising that Glaser himself doesn't have any criminal record filed in the New York court system.
"If a female comedian speaks out about even severe abuse, the industry jumps on her. She loses work, her career is tanked, she's told to be quiet," she said.
This makes Glaser's years of unchecked behavior even more troubling as he's performed shows with a notable feminist in the comedy space: "Broad City's" Ilana Glazer (no relation).
Other women in comedy spoke up after the news broke though.
Despite this, a few male comedians made light of the situation and even maintained that Glaser is innocent until proven guilty, and victim blamed.
And called the women who have come forward liars because they allegedly discussed their experiences on social media.
Women rightfully called these men, including comedian Kurt Metzger on this BS. One woman even wrote a Medium post taking down one of Metzger's victim-blaming social media rants.
"Metzger thinks women who are speaking out against rape are the system. We are not the system. We have been forced to work outside the system because the system has failed us," Nikki Black wrote. "Metzger is part of an awful machine that makes women feel like shit for dealing with rape and sexual assault on their own terms, essentially punishing them for having experienced it in the first place."
Ironically, Metzger himself has been accused of harassing women online.
The survivor told Revelist that she thinks people who blame victims don't realize they're talking about real people dealing with a traumatic event.
"They don't realize just how hard it is in a victim-blaming society to say something, even anonymously," she told Revelist. "Where your career and reputation and everything you've worked for can be destroyed if you were found out."
They shared their own stories involving sexual assault.
Even Jordan Carlos, a writer for the "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore," called out the men who tried to shut the women down.
He went IN:
Guys, stop telling women to shut up about it or policing their behavior by criticizing how they are voicing their anger or frustration. How fucking basic can you get?! Are you really that resentful of women that if they express a very natural reaction to what happened, that feel you have to respond? How frail are you??!!
Stop blowing off and diminishing women's feelings and understand that your mothers, your girlfriends, sisters, wives, daughters, and female friends face dangers you don't ever know as man.
How hard is it to get behind the notion that a woman should feel safe in the comedy community?
Apparently, way too hard.
A naysayer even harassed Mike Blejer, an actor, comic and sexual assault survivor online because he challenged him on Facebook.
He said he's speaking up because he knows how big of a problem this is.
"At the end of the day this isn't about one guy. It's about how we can stop this in the future. Because right now it's fucking constant," said Blejer. He added that he knows many women who have dealt with some sort of uncomfortable sexual situation.
Blejer, who met Glaser at an audition for a commercial, said he gets frustrated with the excuses men use to distract from the bigger conversation, like women seeking fame, money or attention.
"What money? There's no rape money. When someone talks about rape, you get attention. When I talk about sexual assault I get a lot of personal letters. That feels nice, but holy fucking shit that's not what I'm doing it for," he told Revelist. "There are crazy people in the world. But there aren't that many. You know what crazy people have never done? Banded together and say 'let's point at this one guy and call him a rapist.'"
While the survivor who spoke to Revelist is glad to see men speak out, she'd like to see the support in their behavior offline, too.
"I find it interesting that there are many male comedians making supportive comments publicly," she wrote, "while their behavior offline is still strongly stuck in supporting the rape culture."
She thinks the best way to make change is if clubs, and everyone, follow in UCB's path and not only believe women, but treat them with respect — both on and off the stage.
"The comedy scene can get rid of this behavior by having no tolerance for it," she wrote. "Comedians need to pull up their peers for any untoward behavior."
As for Glaser, he's still maintaining his innocence.
In a comment on one of his fellow male comedian's posts, an otherwise silent Glaser denied the allegations.
On Saturday, he also posted, then deleted, a status announcing the ban, and denouncing said allegations.
He did not respond to Revelist's request for comment.
Regardless, the survivor told Revelist she feels less alone.
"For the past few years I've felt disgusting. Like I'm this horrible human being. That I did something wrong," she told Revelist. "When this came out I felt like hey, this is him, not me."
UPDATE - [4:13 PM:] Screenshots of Glaser's Facebook statement have been added to this piece.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article attributed the post in the women's Facebook group to a UCB staff member. The admin of the group just copy and pasted text that an alleged victim sent to her. The article has been updated to reflect the attribution.
CORRECTION: Two screenshots included in this piece featured a male comedian making a joke about Aaron Glaser and have been removed. Revelist wrote the comedian behind the post made light of the severity of the situation. The comedian contacted Revelist and clarified that his post was meant in jest, and he did not attend to make light of the allegations nor does he support Aaron Glaser.