A confrontation between Harvey Weinstein and an actor-playwright named Zoe Stuckless who objected to his presence at a Wednesday event for actors ended with Stuckless — not Weinstein — being ejected.
Stuckless and several women attending the event called out Weinstein for appearing at the speakeasy-style event hosted by Actor’s Hour at the Downtime Bar in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Stuckless questioned why Weinstein — the disgraced movie mogul who will soon face trial on five criminal counts, including rape and predatory sexual assault — was welcomed.
“Nobody’s going to say anything? Nobody’s really going to say anything?” Stuckless said, according to video taken at the event. “I’m going to stand four feet from a f—ing rapist and nobody’s going to say anything?”
Another woman who performed at the event, comedian Kelly Bachman, told TheWrap she was booed for calling out Weinstein during her comedy set. Amber Rollo, another comedian who attended the event, said a friend of Weinstein’s called her a c— when she objected to his presence.
The location of the event had been kept under wraps until the last minute, but Actor’s Hour had rented out Downtime Bar for the private event with its own guest list, according to a statement from the establishment sent to the Patch. (Downtime Bar did not respond to a request for comment from The Wrap.)
“Shortly into the evening, one guest began heckling another, causing a disturbance to everyone in attendance,” the statement read. “After several requests to stop were ignored, we kindly asked the heckler to leave.”
The statement continued: “We respect the privacy of our patrons and event partners, and want to ensure that all guests are treated equally, with the same service and respect.”
Weinstein has denied ever engaging in non-consensual sex. His spokesperson told TheWrap: “Harvey Weinstein was out with friends enjoying the music and trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down. This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public, trying to take it away in the courtroom too.”
In addition, Weinstein said in a statement that he is “happy to address anyone’s questions. We should all be offered the courtesy to voice opinions and be heard, and to even get answers. I am glad we all still have these rights.”
The spokesperson did not respond to a question about whether Weinstein had been invited to the event. Alexandra Laliberte, who runs Actor’s Hour, also did not respond to a request for comment.
Stuckless, who according to The Cut uses the pronouns they and them, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in a public Facebook post on Wednesday, they wrote, “I was sitting there, and the more that I sat there waiting for the event organizers to kick him out, or for another performer to call him out, or for the audience to revolt, the more I found myself paralyzed by the silence. He was sitting there, allowed to laugh and clap and drink and flirt and no one was saying anything. The more I sat there the more furious I was at all of our inaction.”
“In some ways tonight was a horrible, painful reminder of the power a man like Weinstein holds even now. It was a reminder that even in this time of relative awareness it is hypnotically easy to be pulled into a culture of silence,” Stuckless continued. “However, it was also a reminder that our voices have so much more power when we stand together.”
Actor Michael Torello, who was present Wednesday and at an Actor’s Hour event weeks ago, said he saw Weinstein at both events. He said a comedian also called out Weinstein at the earlier event.
“[The comedian] immediately says, ‘Bro, is that Harvey Weinstein out there? Is it true that he raped those women?'” Torello told TheWrap. “At first, when he said the name, Harvey Weinstein, everyone was laughing. But then when he said, ‘Is it true that he did those things?’ then the room just died completely. And I looked over, and he didn’t look too happy to say the least.”
Bachman, the comedian who performed on Wednesday evening, told TheWrap she was shocked to see Weinstein in attendance, and more shocked that he was allowed to stay — especially since she was a survivor of sexual assault. (She is not one of Weinstein’s accusers.) She said she knew she had to say something about Weinstein’s presence.
In her set, video of which was posted on Twitter, Bachman referred to Weinstein as “the elephant in the room” and “Freddy Krueger.” She was met with a few boos and someone in the audience can be heard telling her to “shut up.”
“I’ve literally had nightmares about Harvey Weinstein. I’m a survivor myself. He is the boogeyman to me,” she told TheWrap. “We’re a bunch of young actors in a basement with someone who is known for hurting young actors. I just don’t understand why they would want him at their party, but it really freaked me out.”
Bachman, who left during intermission shortly after Stuckless was escorted out, said she was the only performer in the first half of the show to even address the fact that Weinstein was in attendance.
“I really just tried my best to address it, but I kept thinking I wish I said more, I wish I had been more funny,” Bachman said. “I felt really triggered and really panicked.”
Torello, the actor who attended both nights, said the only other act to address Weinstein was another comedian who asked the audience for a raise of hands if anyone of them had produced “Good Will Hunting,” a Weinstein production. After the show was over, Torello said he went up to Weinstein to ask him why he attended, knowing that he would likely cause a reaction.
“What did you expect to happen this time? Didn’t you know it was going to cause something?” Torello recalled saying. “And he just said, ‘Oh, I don’t really mind.’ And then he left.”
Rollo, a comedian and friend of Bachman’s, told TheWrap she also went up to address Weinstein, who was seated at a table with a few of his friends by the door to exit the bar. She and Bachman both left during intermission shortly after Stuckless.
“I went up to his table and I said, you know, [Zoe Stuckless is] right,” Rollo said. “Why the f— are you here? You’re a f—ing monster, you should disappear, you should not be in these spaces.”
Rollo said that Weinstein’s friend responded by calling her a “c—.”
“I can’t believe that he was allowed to be at an event that was supposed to support actors and artists as a person who has ruined actors’ and artists’ lives,” Rollo said.
The following day, Rollo — who is also a survivor of sexual assault — tweeted about seeing Weinstein at the event to express her dismay.
“I’m shocked because he was invited to an event put on by and for artists,” she wrote, “an event that was supposed to support actors and artists invited a serial rapist who has ruined at least 87 actors lives and supported that monster over an actor in the room. They supported HIM over all the actors in the room.”
For Bachman, the fact that Weinstein is still welcome at events for actors felt like “old Weinstein land.”
“There seemed to be a bunch of actors that still want him to like, fund their project, or put them in a movie or respect them in some way. They were … treating him like he was allowed in the space,” she said. “That was what was so creepy about it.”
For the record: This story has been updated to reflect that Zoe Stuckless uses the pronouns they and them.