Comedian Iliza Shlesinger is being sued by a man who says her “Girls Night In With Iliza – No Boys Allowed” comedy show violates laws prohibiting discrimination based on sex in California.
Defendant George St. George said in a legal filing obtained by TheWrap that he and a male friend purchased $25 tickets to the Nov. 13 show at the Largo at the Coronet theater in Los Angeles. They were given their tickets upon arrival, but were told they needed to sit in the back, according to the lawsuit, and soon after, they were denied entry and given a refund.
Attorney Alfred Rava told TheWrap prohibiting his client from seeing the show based on gender was against the law.
“Post-Weinstein, Pre-Weinstein, or Mid-Weinstein environment makes no difference,” Rava said in a statement to TheWrap. “At no time should an entertainer or an entertainment venue require female patrons or male patrons sit in the back of the theater based solely on their sex, or prohibit people from entering the theater and taking in the show based solely on their sex – or their race, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship, or other protected personal characteristic.”
Rava is known for taking on cases he believes violate the 1959 Unruh Civil Rights Act. In 1985, the California Supreme Court found “ladies night” shows violated the act, saying “no matter what their sex” is, “full and equal accommodations” had to be provided to customers.
Ravas argues in the lawsuit that Shlesinger and the organizers “boldly organized, hosted, booked, put on, performed in or at least aided a sex-based comedy show that treated male and female theatergoers unequally based solely on their sex.”
Update: Shlesinger released the following statement through a rep to TheWrap.
“Since this is a legal matter, I’m unable to comment to the specifics of this lawsuit. I will say that of the many shows I do throughout the year, Girls Night In was a singular evening that encouraged women to get together, talk and laugh about the things we go through as well as donate some money to Planned Parenthood. It’s unfortunate that this has now become an issue.”
Pamela Chin contributed to this story.