Indian-American comedian Arj Barker ejects mother and baby from the show, sparks row

An Indian-American comedian caused a controversy after asking a mother to leave his show with her 7-month-old baby. The incident in Melbourne, Australia, has ignited a heated debate about mothers’ rights and disruptions during performances.

Arj Barker, an Indian-origin comedian, is also known as Arjan Singh Āulakh.

During a show in Australia on Saturday night at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Barker, known for his funny and sharp comments, asked the breastfeeding mother and her seven-month-old baby to leave the event.

Some people left with the mother to support her, while others teased her as she left.

Barker, a comedian from California who often performs internationally, was entertaining hundreds of people at the Athenaeum Theatre when the baby’s sounds interrupted his thoughts, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

“On behalf of the other 700 people there who had paid to see the gig, I politely told her the baby couldn’t stay,” he explained to the national broadcaster.

Barker clarified that he couldn’t see if the mother was breastfeeding due to the bright stage lights and dismissed claims that his decision was related to anything other than the noise.

“I have nothing against babies. The breastfeeding thing is not the issue; it should be irrelevant. I had no idea if she was breastfeeding or not because I was on a brightly lit stage,” he told CNN affiliate Nine News.

“It was purely an audio issue, it had nothing to do with her being a mom – I have nothing against moms,” he said.

Barker defended his decision, stating it was a difficult choice made to ensure an uninterrupted experience for paying attendees.

He expressed sympathy for the mother’s discomfort, acknowledging the challenging nature of the situation.

“I can understand that it was difficult and embarrassing for her, and I do feel bad about that,” Barker told Melbourne radio station 3AW, reported CNN.

The incident sparked a debate in Australia about the rights of mothers to attend public events with their babies and the expectations of performers during live shows.

The mother involved, Trish Faranda, shared her perspective on the incident, expressing her initial disbelief when Barker asked her to leave.

“I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s night, it was never my intention to go and disrupt people or create a scene,” Faranda stated.

Faranda’s experience prompted sympathy from many, with some arguing that mothers should be allowed to participate in public activities without facing humiliation.

Australian politician Ellen Sandell condemned Barker’s actions, stating, “It’s hard enough for new mums to participate in society with all the barriers put in front of them – to be humiliated like this, for just trying to enjoy the comedy festival, is awful.”

Published By:

Girish Kumar Anshul

Published On:

Apr 23, 2024

Leave a Comment