When Kelly Bachman walked into a bar in New York for a night of comedy, the last person he expected to see was the disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
And yet he saw him sitting at a reserved table in the corner of the bar, invited, she says, to the host of Wednesday night's event: Actor's Hour. She couldn't believe her eyes, but she was even more surprised when several people took the stage without even recognizing Weinstein's presence in the crowd.
"I'm a comedian and it's our job to name the elephant in the room; do we know what that is? "She said as she took the stage in the already viral video of her set. "Freddie Krueger is in the room, if you will. I didn't know we had to bring our own whistle and rape into an actor's hour. "
And while several members of the audience cheered the joke, others picked it up even more, including one of the attendees of the evening, Zoe Bezparichna, who yells directly at Weinstein while ostensibly stopped by his bodyguards and removed from the bar.
Later, Bachman's friend Amber Rollo also confronted Weinstein: "I went in and called him to a monster and told him he should disappear. His friend / bodyguard / pursuer / family member called me an act and I really wanted to throw myself over the table and choke him, "she wrote in Twitter .
Now that he has garnered nearly 30,000 followers on Twitter overnight, Bachman talks to Variety about Actor Evening, Harvey Weinstein, and why he thinks it's important to speak.
Take me through the evening – when did you understand Weinstein
I arrived at the place to stay, and when I entered, on the left, I saw him sitting at a table surrounded by friends, and made a triple, quadruple play of " Are you kidding me, Harvey Weinstein is not in prison? "… I was just scared. In fact, I sat on the floor in the corner and had a panic attack and debated whether to say any jokes at all. In fact, I came to do a new set design that I wanted to have a tape for because they were filming the event, so I wanted to get a nice tape that I could send to people, and that's kind of ironic.
I really didn't want to risk or talk to the public or talk about current events because I wanted to get a good evergreen strip. And I saw him there and thought, "I'll have to say something and it will ruin my cartridge." And my friend next to me said, "Just make your regular kit, don't let it ruin your cartridge. You wanted your tape; get your cartridge. He can't take that from you. "And I was like, 'Yes!
And then I saw him there and I just saw so many people treat him that it's normal to talk to him, and I was just like, "Whew," and I asked the woman next to me, "Do I have to say something? Harvey Weinstein, I have to say something, right? I'm about to get up. "And she said, 'Don't say anything. "And she said it in such a way that I was like, 'Oh, I have to say something. "
I started texting my friends, asking while the show was starting, 'What can I say?', I asked social media, you know, and the host went up, emcee and he didn't call anyone. He was actually calling people only for text messages like me … but it's not good when the money is sitting in the back of the show So he didn't mention Weinstein; the subsequent performers didn't mention Weinstein Then I was …
It felt like there was no air in the room I was in a panic I felt triggered I felt traumatized I felt that I couldn't breathe. I had the feeling that I had to say something, but I didn't know how much I was going to get out. So I said what I could and didn't completely get the joke I wanted to tell because they started whistling, but I said as much as I could and when one person said, "shut up," it made me so hard that simply, the only thing I could think of after that was just "you -"
What was your reaction to the crowd from the crowd?
I mean, I'm a person who has unfortunately been sexually assaulted by three different individuals, and I've lived enough time to know what people are capable of in terms of how you react when you tell them. And after the way I am treated every time I experience this experience, I always expect silence and boom. So I was pretty prepared for that to happen. But I also get the hugs and support from the women I received, and I expected that too.
What is it like to see all the support online?
I'm just kind of, I know better to talk than not to talk. And as excellent as it is, I just know from my own experience that I will always feel better when I say something, if I don't, even if it hurts to say something. It just always hurts me to say no more.
Have you talked to Zoe or Amber in your kit?
Amber is a good friend of mine; she was on the show supporting me and me and I are in the @ Boys Drool band and we are co-hosting a comedy show so she is my comedy sister. I talk to her constantly. I don't know Zoe at all, but I'm a fan of her existence. I thought she was the boldest person out there. I mean, she did what I wanted her to do, which is to make everyone extremely uncomfortable and to back it up and not move. And I left when she left because it was my chance to leave. And I very much wanted to leave. I felt trapped below; it's a basement, and Harvey was sitting by the door so I didn't really want to go to him.
Weinstein has been to these events in the past?
People kept telling me that he was definitely in the last cast of Actor Hour and that both times he had a reserved table that the Actor's Hour kept, so I don't know what the deal was. But I am no longer a fan of "Actor Hour" and none of the comedians I know.
What do you hope people will take away from watching your Weinstein directed series?
I hope it becomes normal and not news to shout evil when you see it. I hope it becomes the norm not to be complicit and to want a room that is safe for everyone in it. I think it's quite surprising to me that it's news. I understand why this is, but I thought we all agreed that this guy was bad, so I'm just, yeah, that's something we can all agree on. Yes, Fox News will email me about it and so will CNN because we all agree. It's not like I'm raising one of the controversial issues in the gray space of our time. This is the guy who looked like a villain, even before we know each other for sure, and now he's a villain, so why would I still find myself in a space in progressive Manhattan where young artists my age greet him? So this is quite shocking to me, but also not shocking that people are nasty. But there are always good people.
This interview has been edited and abbreviated for clarity.