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Counter Louis CK Event to Make Sexual Assault Victims ‘Seen and Heard’

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman Counter Louis CK Event to Make Sexual Assault Victims ‘Seen and Heard’Photo by Rachel Joy Barehl
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A counter event to comedian Louis CK’s appearance at the Columbus Funny Bone wants to put more of a focus on victims and survivors of sexual violence.

Christine Horvath, a Columbus standup and founder of BabeRoar — a platform created to uplift female, queer and other marginalized comedians — organized ‘Seen and Heard’ with her partner, Griffin Browning. The two-part comedy fundraiser event will benefit victims of abuse and sexual assault.

In November 2017, five women accused Louis CK of sexual misconduct, saying the standup comedian either masturbated in front of them or attempted to, and felt that they were warned to not speak of their encounters for fear of career repercussions. He admitted to the allegations, and took a step back from the spotlight. That was until August 2018, when he kicked off an understated comeback tour.

Now, Louis CK will make a stop at the Columbus Funny Bone, performing three nights on July 5, 6 and 7. There are six show times in total, all of which are sold out.

For two of those nights, Horvath will host a counter comedy fundraiser event to provide people an alternative. On Friday night at Wild Cat Gift and Party’s Confetti House, a comedy show will feature some comedians who are survivors of sexual assault, including Horvath. On Saturday night, a viewing of “Rape Jokes,” a standup special about sexual assault from the perspective of comedian and survivor Cameron Esposito, will take place at a location released to attendees the day of.

The fundraiser benefits RAINN — Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network — the country’s leading anti-sexual violence organization. There is currently a GoFundMe page dedicated to the cause, with a goal of raising $3,500.

Horvath says the fundraiser is a way to draw the public’s focus back on victims.

“His return to the stage comes pretty quickly after admitting what he did,” said Horvath, in a conversation on the phone. “And because the victims are really lost in the story, especially with him selling out shows after admitting this action, I wanted to redirect support to victims.”

Horvath is not new to providing a platform to people who need it. Between BabeRoar, running an all-female comedy show called UpRoar and her #MoreFemaleHeadliners campaign, Horvath knows just how much of an added difficulty it is for female, queer and POC comedians to break into and make a living from comedy. Add on the trauma of sexual assault, and the difficulties mount even higher.

But Horvath says victims and survivors do want to see standup, and shouldn’t have to support abusers or assaulters to do so.

“I’ve heard from some people that because Louis CK’s shows have sold out, that maybe people don’t want an alternative to him,” she said. “I think that’s a shortsighted view.”

On Friday, July 5, ‘Seen and Heard’ takes place at 9 p.m. at Wild Cat Gift and Party’s Confetti House, 15 W. Dunedin Ave. Saturday’s screening begins at 9:30 p.m. An address will be released to attendees the day of the event.

Visit the BabeRoar.com store for tickets and more information on the event.

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