Comedian Lucy Beaumont says her career was held back by predatory men on the circuit as she confirmed she had been targeted herself.
She said she had suffered ‘quite a few incidences’ early on as she set out on the circuit.
And confirming the ‘blacklist’ of alleged offenders, she said there were up to 15 men carrying out the appalling behaviour.
Lucy, 40, who is married to fellow comic Jon Richardson, said: ‘Predatory male behaviour. I’ve had quite a few incidences where if you’re in any other workforce you would go to HR, but there isn’t one. I think it’s just everywhere and it’s not talked about enough.
‘It upsets me when I hear about young female comics having the same experiences. I thought for a while it was the same five or six people – and now it’s not – I could name you 10 or 15 because of course people talk.’
Lucy Beaumont says career was held back by predatory men and was targeted in incidences
There is no suggestion of any link between her and Brand, who has denied any wrongdoing
The writer and performer spoke in July about the issue on The Comedian’s Comedian Podcast, which today attracted greater interest after the Russell Brand allegations. There is no suggestion of any link between her and Brand, who has denied any wrongdoing.
She added: ‘Comedy has the biggest gossips ever so everybody knows – or if you don’t know the ones I know yet then you will do soon.
‘It attracts such interesting, passionate, raw, edgy, wounded people – but it also attracts predatory men who are really messed up and sexually have been repressed for years. And they get a bit of fame and display these behaviours.
‘It just gets covered up. Their agents know and the channels know and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. There’s been times when I’ve just wanted to go on Twitter and just let people know everyone that we talk about, but not allowed to say.’
MailOnline told yesterday how at least five more performers on the UK comedy circuit had been named as alleged ‘predators’ after allegations of rape and sexual assault were levied at Brand.
The comics have appeared on a so-called ‘blacklist’ drawn up by female comedians and shared on WhatsApp, which claims that the comedians have engaged in toxic behaviours such as stalking, violence and predatory behaviour.
Daniel Sloss has been praised for his Dispatches appearance amid Russell Brand allegations
Comedian Stevie Martin first disclosed the existence of a Whatsapp group which discussed predatory male comics and promoters as long ago as 2020
MailOnline is not naming the individuals because it has not yet been possible to independently verify the claims.
Brand was accused of rape and sexual assault in a Sunday Times and Channel 4 investigation published on Saturday, in which former colleagues claimed they had acted as ‘pimps’ to pass messages to attractive audience members.
He has vehemently denied the allegations – but the BBC, Channel 4 and production firm Banijay have launched investigations into his behaviour, while the Met Police says it is investigating a complaint received at the weekend.
Details of the allegations have shocked fans, some of whom have vowed to continue supporting him. But Brand’s name is one of many on the ‘blacklist’ shared by women working in comedy warning each other about alleged sexual predators.
Lucy added to the podcast: ‘There’s been times that I’ve just wanted to go on Twitter and let people know about everyone we talk about that we’re not allowed to say.
‘There’s this guy, this guy, this guy and this guy that your young girls are not safe around these men. And they’re patrons of charities, and they’re paid the biggest sums of money and you can’t trust them. It needs ridding.
‘How long are we going to in private say ‘Did you hear about so and so that’s doing that again?’. We know who they are – they’re not that good anyway.
‘I don’t want this to be a problem for anyone else. I want this stopping.’
In the Dispatches documentary that first revealed the allegations against Brand comedian Daniel Sloss claimed women would warn each other about him.
He told the show there were ‘many stories with varying degrees of severity’ about Brand that came from a number of different people in the comedy circuit.
Mr Sloss said he was often spoken about in public, with many people in the comedy circuit aware of his alleged abusive and coercive behaviour.
He added that female comedians even spoke of him in WhatsApp groups which they used to warn each other which comedians to avoid.
He said: ‘For many, many years women have been warning each other about Russell.’
Comedian Stevie Martin first disclosed the existence of the Whatsapp group which discussed predatory male comics and promoters as long ago as 2020.
She had been invited to the group in 2018, which was called the Home Safe Collective and was originally set up to help women get home safely from the Edinburgh Fringe.
But it became much more in the wake of the MeToo movement that heralded the exposure of Harvey Weinstein as sexual abuser and rapist.
She told the Telegraph in 2020: ‘From rape to unwanted green room fondling to using alcohol to coerce without consent, women started sharing their stories – and a Whatsapp-based blacklist began circulating of predatory male comics and promoters. It’s growing every day.
‘The path to said primetime entertainment TV shows appears to be littered with, at worst, sexual abuse, and at best, a corrosive environment.’
‘I recently found out about a male comic who paid other male comics (performing at a comedy night he ran) with phone numbers of female comedians, rather than cash. How are we supposed to feel respected, and even a part of, a community that appears to view us as sport?’
Complaints about comedians never gained the momentum of Hollywood and many of those accused either returned to work or were never identified.
But in recent months the tide has changed thanks largely to the efforts of female comedians and their shining a spotlight on the appalling problem.
Katherine Ryan previously claimed to have told a comedian ‘to his face’ that he was a sexual predator and that accusations against this person were an ‘open secret’.
Katherine Ryan previously claimed to have told a comedian ‘to his face’ that he was a sexual predator and that accusations against this person were an ‘open secret’
Sara Pascoe also told in 2022 how she reported a celebrity to television bosses after a fan told her that he had raped her after seeing them on a show together
The Canadian comic and writer told Louis Theroux that she had confronted the unnamed man while they worked together on a TV show in front of the audience ‘again and again’.
Speaking in 2022, the 40-year-old said she had no qualms with doing so as she had decided to handle it ‘like a man’ – although the confrontation itself was later cut from the broadcast.
In her chat with Theroux, Ms Ryan claimed she had received criticism afterwards for not naming the person in question in public, but said just talking about him was a ‘litigious minefield’ as he had ‘very good lawyers’.
The comedian added that it was ‘not my story to tell’ but that she believed the accusations as the sources were ‘very credible’.
Her friend Sara Pascoe also told in 2022 how she reported a celebrity to television bosses after a fan told her that he had raped her after seeing them on a show together.
The writer and comic disclosed she had been given the tip-off after the alleged victim clocked them appearing on the same programme.
Miss Pascoe said she was contacted with the information, which she passed on to bosses.
Speaking on the new Amazon Prime series Backstage With Katherine Ryan, she said: ‘Have you ever done a job and then someone’s contacted you and said: ‘That’s my rapist’?
‘I had it on a job recently where I’ve had to go to the channel, and it’s that whole thing because you feel such a sense of responsibility but you also want it to be dealt with well… it’s so complicated.’
More recently Pascoe warned there was more than one prominent sexual predator in showbusiness and they were terrified of being exposed.
But she says they are not thriving. They are all ‘terrified. It’s a matter of time,’ she says.
‘They haven’t been named outright yet because no one wants it to happen like that. It’s not good for the victims and survivors or for the industry. But they’re not thriving. They’re scared.’