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Comedian Arj Barker cops backlash for kicking out mum and baby

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Comedian Arj Barker has faced backlash for telling a mum and baby to leave his show

Comedian Arj Barker is facing backlash for telling a woman and her baby to leave his show at Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival.

Melbourne woman Trish Faranda told local radio station 3AW she felt “humiliated” by the experience.

Barker has issued a public statement saying he “felt bad” about kicking the woman out.

The show

Arj Barker is an American-born comedian who has spent much of his career in Australia. Barker is billed as “Australia’s funniest adopted Californian” by his promoters.

He performed his new show, ‘The Mind Field’, at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this month.

On Saturday night, Faranda brought her baby along to Barker’s show.

According to Barker, Faranda’s baby started making sounds during his set. At first, he made a joke about the baby disrupting his show.

When the baby started making noises a second time, Barker said he asked the woman to leave and said she would be given a refund.

Barker said “a few people” left the show to join her.

Reaction

Faranda told radio station 3AW she felt “humiliated” being kicked out of Barker’s show.

“The sad bit is I’d been to lots of his shows before [I had] children,” she said.

Faranda said she deliberately sat at the end of a row so she could leave in case her baby started crying.

Barker’s reply

In a statement, Barker said he “felt bad” about kicking Faranda and her baby out of the show.

He added: “This was [a] difficult decision that I made on behalf of the other 700 or so audience members who deserved to see the show they had paid for, uninterrupted.

“This show was ‘Strictly for Audiences 15+’. The theatre should have flagged this before seating her but for some reason they did not.”

Comedy Festival

Melbourne International Comedy Festival said: “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.”

The festival said it had received two official complaints about the incident since Saturday night.

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