- Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty
- Comedian Iliza Shlesinger is facing a lawsuit for hosting a women-only comedy show last month.
- The attorney who filed the suit has a history of suing companies for gender discrimination on behalf of men.
- According to Variety, Shlesinger’s show may have violated a California law protecting “equal accommodations” in the state.
Comedian Iliza Shlesinger is facing a lawsuit for hosting a women-only comedy event in California last month.
As Variety notes, the suit’s plaintiff, George St. George, bought a ticket to Shlesinger’s show at Largo at The Coronet on November 13, which was advertised as “Girls Night In with Iliza – No Boys Allowed.”
The suit contends that St. George and a male friend were initially told they could sit in the back row of the show, and were subsequently denied entry and offered refunds.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the attorney who filed the suit, Alfred Rava, has a history of suing companies for gender discrimination on behalf of men. In 2004, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Rava filed a class action lawsuit against the Oakland A’s baseball organization for giving away hats to women at a Mother’s Day game.
“Simply put, it is against many California laws for a business to discriminate against patrons based on their sex or other personal characteristics, such as race or sexual orientation which should surprise no one,” Rava writes in the suit.
Rava goes on to argue that the women-only show “repudiated hundreds of years of women’s struggles to be viewed as being equal to men and is typical of old-fashioned sexism that might also advise a young woman that her best chance for a happy life is to ace her home economics class and learn how to make a queso dip from Velveeta to catch a good man.”
According to Variety, a 1985 California Supreme Court case ruled that “ladies night” discounts violate an “equal accommodations” law in the state, and violations are punishable by a $4,000 fine, plus attorneys’ fees.
“Since this is a legal matter, I’m unable to comment to the specifics of this lawsuit,” Shlesinger said in a statement her representatives sent to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Read the suit below:
Editor’s note 12/28/17: This article was updated to include a statement from Shlesinger’s representatives and the name of the publication reporting on the class-action lawsuit against the Oakland A’s.