How Many Is “Too Many”?

Jenny CollierI don’t tend to mark International Women’s Day myself, because every day is “International Women’s Day” in my heart [adopts smug, self-righteous smirk, and pats self on back]… but clearly this sentiment isn’t shared by the scrunts running an unnamed venue in Surrey, who chose to celebrate the occasion by informing Jenny Collier that they wouldn’t be requiring her services for an upcoming comedy night after all, because they (quote) “don’t want too many women on the bill”! WTF!?

Collier tweeted a cap of the offending e-mail a couple of days ago, tactfully leaving the identity of the sender anonymous… but sleuth-y blogger Red Mister claims to have narrowed the villainous venue down to a wine bar called Hemingways of Haslemere. If his deduction is correct, then it would appear that all but one of the acts performing in their show that night will be male! Gah!! Living out here in the sticks, I don’t really follow the circuit very closely, but Red Mister suggests that “it is an unwritten rule within the comedy industry that a club, unless specifically targeted at the female, LGBT or leftfield market, will generally only host one female comic on any particular night, usually sandwiched in the middle of the show between their male counterparts.” In the immortal words of Flight of the Conchords, that’s way too many misters, not enough sisters!

On the upside, Collier still has plenty of other scheduled gigs to look forward to, while this unceremonious (and ironically timed) cancellation has inspired supportive tweets from more established comedians such as Sarah Millican, who characterised the venue’s attitude/behaviour as “disgusting”, and Jason Manford, who suggested that she “sue those f*ckers”. Crikey!

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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2 Responses to How Many Is “Too Many”?

  1. Perhaps women of the comedy world could… you know… unite and make their own club that features a 50/50 split. It could be a shmorgasborg of good comedians/ennes and it would make lots of money and we could sell overpriced liquor and who’s with me???

    • deecrowseer says:

      I think in the follow-up articles, the agency claimed that the club in question already had enough women on the bill for a 50/50 split, and they rejected her because they didn’t want it going 60/40 or 70/30 in favour of women. Whether they made lots of money, I couldn’t say… but overpriced liquor is probably a safe bet!

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