Home Articles ‘Awful’: Comedian Arj Barker sparks outrage after kicking out breastfeeding mom from...

‘Awful’: Comedian Arj Barker sparks outrage after kicking out breastfeeding mom from Melbourne show



Comedian Arj Barker engulfed in controversy after a breastfeeding mother claimed that she was thrown out of his show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival on Saturday.

Following her expulsion from a comedy concert at the Athenaeum Theater, Trish Faranda expressed her feelings of being “humiliated” and “unwanted”.

According to the reports, Barker clashed with the mother after her 7-month-old baby made a few gurgling sounds.

Barker, dubbed “Australia’s favorite American comedian,” acknowledged the baby after she gurgled a little bit, according to Faranda, and then proceeded to make a few remarks about the circumstances.

The American comedian and actor again approached the mother after her child made a “little noise” once again, asking her to leave the show.

“People were laughing and I don’t think he was joking. So I said to him, do you actually want me to leave? And Barker said, “Yes I do”,” the mother told 3AW Melbourne. She went on to claim that Barker was intimidating and she “did not feel comfortable to stay.”

Nearly 12 furious attendees left the theatre in solidarity with the mother.

One of the woman’s family members took to X and thanked those who exited the show in protest. The relative further claimed that Barker stated the couple was ‘ruining his train of thought’ during the show.

Meanwhile, Faranda told The Age that she didn’t encounter any problems when she brought her infant to watch Australian comedian Dave Hughes.

Barker defends self, slams theater staff

In response to the criticism, Barker stated that the baby was interfering with his performance and that the program was explicitly advertised as being “strictly age 15+”.

Barker, who also slammed theater staff for allowing the mother with a 7-month-old baby to watch his show, claimed that he politely asked the mother that her baby could not stay.

The comedian added that while the woman was leaving the concert, he offered her a refund, acknowledging that he felt bad about the incident.

“I felt bad about the whole situation and stated this on the night more than once. I offered her a refund. Theatre staff should not have seated a baby in my audience in the first place,” he said.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival issues statement

Following the incident, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival released a statement, stressing that Arj is independently produced and takes place at a location which is not supervised by the festival. It added that any interaction between artists and their fans ought to be respectful and sensitive.

“In our festival managed venues, babes in arms are generally allowed but we do ask people to sit up the back with their child so they can quickly and easily leave if the baby gets noisy, so as not to disturb the artist and other patrons.”

Tense exchange garners mixed response

Calling the situation ‘awful’, Australian politician Ellen Sandell took to X and highlighted it is women’s right to participate in society while breastfeeding. She further asked Barker to take a good look at himself and apologise to mother.

Sandell disagreed with one of the X users who commented on her post and suggested that mothers should leave the babies at home, Sandell

Meanwhile, some netizens came out in support of Barker, with one saying, “Fair enough like he said it was ruining his train of thought good on him.”

“Majority of us are totally supportive of women breastfeeding in public. This does not mean you should be taking a baby to a show like this. The audience having to put up with a crying baby is not on. I’m betting there were other breastfeeding mums there who didn’t bring their child,” another added.

“Why would you take a baby in a comedy show?” one more asked.‘Awful’: Comedian Arj Barker sparks outrage after kicking out breastfeeding mom from Melbourne show



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