Female comedians set up 'WhatsApp group to warn each other about predatory behaviour’

18 September 2023, 15:34

Katherine Ryan said she told a comedy star ‘to his face’ that he was a predator, and Sarah Pascoe has spoken out about well-known ‘predators’ on the comedy circuit
Katherine Ryan said she told a comedy star ‘to his face’ that he was a predator, and Sarah Pascoe has spoken out about well-known ‘predators’ on the comedy circuit. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

Women working the UK comedy circuit have set up a WhatsApp group blacklist to warn each other of male stars’ predatory behaviour, it has emerged today.

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It comes after Russell Brand was accused of sexual assault and emotional abuse by several women.

He is accused by four women of assaults across a seven-year period between 2006 and 2013. Russell Brand has denied the allegations and said his relationships have all been consensual.

Comedian Daniel Sloss has gone on record, speaking to The Times, telling them that female comedians set up online groups to warn others about people they’ve worked with and had difficult experiences with, including predatory behaviour.

Mr Sloss told the times: “I know for many, many years that women have been warning each other about Russell.”

At least five other male comedians have been named in the conversations, MailOnline reports.

Read more: 'Very serious... deeply concerning': Downing Street speaks out on Russell Brand allegations

Read more: 'Very controlling': Historic warnings about Russell Brand's behaviour resurface after sexual assault allegations

Russell Brand has vehemently denied the allegations made against him
Russell Brand has vehemently denied the allegations made against him. Picture: Alamy

They include famous stars of TV, radio and stage - some still working, others who have disappeared from the limelight.

Mr Sloss said there were ‘many stories with varying degrees of severity’.

Comedian Sara Pascoe has also claimed there are two well-known predators in the comedy circuit.

She indicated that there is more than one predator in the comedy industry, including "a man that's assaulted men."

Comedian Stevie Martin disclosed the WhatsApp group existed as long ago as 2020, telling the Telegraph: “A Whatsapp-based blacklist began circulating of predatory male comics and promoters. It’s growing every day.”

Canadian comic and writer Katherine Ryan told Louis Theroux in a recent interview that she told a comedian ‘to his face’ that he was a predator.

Brand, 48, vehemently denies the allegations made against him and said all of his relationships have been "consensual", in a video posted online on Friday night.

The initial claims are said to be from a period between 2006 and 2013, when Brand was at the height of his fame and working for the BBC, Channel 4 and starring in Hollywood films.

The BBC has said it is "urgently looking into the issues raised" while Brand worked on BBC radio programmes between 2006 and 2008.

Channel 4 announced it is conducting "its own internal investigation" following the allegations and the broadcaster has removed content featuring Brand from their streaming service while they look into the claims.

"We will be writing to all our current suppliers reminding them of their responsibilities under our Code of Conduct, as we are committed to ensuring our industry has safe, inclusive and professional working environments," a Channel 4 statement added.

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