Banning males from attending a women-only comedy show may seem to be all about female empowerment, but, technically speaking, it’s also discriminatory and illegal.
That’s what a lawsuit lodged against comedian Iliza Shlesinger is claiming, with Variety reporting that plaintiff George St. George is suing the “Last Comic Standing” winner for violating California state law after he and a male companion were denied entry to her Nov. 13 “Girls Night In” comedy show at L.A.’s Largo at the Coronet.
According to St. George’s suit, he and a male friend had tickets to the show, which was billed as “No Boys Allowed.” Despite the notice, they attempted to enter the show, and were initially told they could sit in the back row; later, however, St. George alleges they were denied entry and offered a refund.
In his suit, St. George’s attorney, Alfred Rava, contends that the men being denied entry to the event violates California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act of 1959. “At no time should an entertainer or an entertainment venue require female patrons or male patrons sit in the back of the theatre based solely on their sex,” Rava told Variety via email.
As Variety points out, both Rava and St. George are no strangers to filing similar suits, with St. George having previously been the plaintiff in several court actions challenging “ladies nights” at bars and other public establishments.
In addition, Rava, has a reputation for filing numerous suits of this nature, and in 2015 told CNN that he had filed 150 complaints accusing various California businesses of violating the act. Rava is also, notes Variety, a former secretary of the National Coalition for Men, a non-profit “men’s rights” organization that has filed numerous lawsuits of a similar nature.
According to Variety, Shlesinger did not respond for a request for comment.