A men’s rights activist is taking on comedian Iliza Shlesinger in court for banning men from attending her “Girls Night In” shows even after they paid for their tickets.
The lawsuit states that 21-year-old George St. George bought a $30 ticket for Shlesinger’s show on November 13 in Los Angeles, which was advertised as “No Boys Allowed.” On the Largo website, the show is described as “a hybrid stand up show and interactive discussion between Iliza and the women in the audience aimed at giving women a place to vent in a supportive, fun and inclusive environment. She invites women of all walks of life to come, laugh with her and at her and be ready to share and feel safe for an awesome night of comedy and love.”
Men, however, are not welcome.
When St. George and a male colleague tried to enter the show, they were prevented from sitting at their allotted seats and told to sit in the back row. The two went out for dinner following the inquiry, but when they returned, they were denied entry into the venue and turned away.
St. George has been a plaintiff in several suits challenging “ladies nights” at bars and other public establishments for violating the Unruh Civil Rights Act of 1969, which prohibits establishments from discriminating based on race, sex, religion, and disability.
St. George’s attorney, Alfred Rava, a former secretary for the National Coalition of Men, has filed over 150 such complaints accusing California businesses of violating the law, according to Variety. Rava says he is no longer a member of the men’s rights organization.
“At no time should an entertainer or an entertainment venue require female patrons or male patrons sit in the back of the theater based solely on their sex,” Rava said. His client is reportedly seeking “only the statutory damages” for violations of the Unruh Act.
“Since this is a legal matter, I’m unable to comment to the specifics of this lawsuit,” Shlesinger told Rolling Stone. “I will say that of the many shows I do throughout the year, Girls Night In was a singular evening that encouraged women to get together, talk and laugh about the things we go through as well as donate some money to Planned Parenthood. It’s unfortunate that this has now become an issue.”