From the Editor: This article, by Irin Carmon, was submitted by reader Sherry Murphy who provides an analysis at the bottom of this article. What do you think of the video, the analysis, and if you were on stage with those comedians, what would you have said?
By Irin Carmon Aug 26, 2011
What do you call it when you misrepresent yourself as someone’s desired partner, don’t listen when she repeatedly tells you to leave, come uninvited into her room and penetrate her while she just lies there? Well, at a recent New York City improv festival, this guy, who by his own account did just that, called it comedy.
This video is from the Asssscat 3000 show at the Del Close Marathon, held August 14. The audience was invited by the comedians to tell a true life story to inspire an improv set, and this man, who introduced himself as Eric, told a story from his time on the waitstaff at Second City Chicago.
As the story goes, an “old drunk girl” gave her number to a waiter, who had a girlfriend but suggested Eric go instead. He claims “peer pressure” from the fellow staff led him to call the woman, “without saying, hey I’m a different person, is this okay?” and to take a cab to her hotel. He says she opened up the door and said, “Oh no.” This is how he recounts the dialogue:
“You’re not the guy I wanted.”
“But I’m the guy who showed up.” This elicits cheers.
She said, “Well I’m not letting you in,” but “she leaves the door open so I’m like bingo…. I walk in there and I kind of close the door.” She told him to leave, again, and he says to himself, “All right, it’s now or never.” He says he kissed her, they started making out, and when the comedians start uncomfortably joking about the police and the Fifth Amendment, Eric says, “I’m pretty sure she felt safe,” that she was stronger than him and had him “pinned down.” He then says he went for the “fishhook,” which is how he says he tells it to his friends, and demonstrates penetrating her with his fingers.
The woman allegedly said, “Please tell me you have a condom.” She took off her pants but wouldn’t let him take off her top. Then, in his words: “She laid on her back and I did my work.” At this point, people in the audience start booing.
“There’s not a woman in this theater who could resist you right now,” one comedian jokes in the video. Well, presumably because he didn’t listen the last time.
The rest of the men — all men — onstage react in a variety of ways, from noting the women behind him shaking their heads unsmilingly to asking if the women was attractive.
“I wish for a million reasons that there would have been at least one woman on that stage,” writes Splitsider’s Halle Kiefer, who was there but who ultimately thought the comedians handled it well, saying that one “went on to specifically call out the monologue as being about rape multiple times.” Another attendee, Stephanie Streisand, writes, “He was at the [festival] after party. He was smiling until one by one people were going up to him to let him know he was a rapist. He left the party early.” And a third woman who was there, Poupak Sepehri, says she was “shocked and uncertain about what to do. At some point, I was going to get up and leave, but I was sitting very close to the stage and didn’t want to disturb the performers.” She concludes,
So, if you’re a female Second City customer from out of town, you’re a little older and a little drunk, and you are interested in one of the waiters, given all the justifications above, it’s OK that the cook/host shows up in your hotel room and rapes you.
We contacted the man who’s believed to be in this video and will keep you posted. We’re told that he no longer works at Second City and that he’s moved away from Chicago.
Update: According to this blogger and several other sources, the person in the video is Eric D. Angell, whom we also contacted this morning. He hasn’t responded.
Do you have anything to add to this analysis by Sherry Murphy?:
This guy (“Eric”) exhibited classic rapist behavior:
1. refusing to leave when told to do so several times (victim states “I’m not letting you in”–this constitutes “defense” under Illinois law);
2. using a ruse to enter the victim’s home (“ah, man… now I have to call & tell him this? But, I don’t have his number,” so she leaves the door open while she goes to retrieve his friend’s phone number from her room, and he “walk[s] in there, and [he] kinda closes the door”–this may possibly constitute “use of force or fear,” especially since he may be blocking her only exit);
3. still refusing to leave as the victim continues to defend herself utilizing verbal resistance (and he thinks “alright, it’s now or never”);
4. showing further aggression by continuing to argue with her about whether or not she actually wants him to leave;
5. they “end up on the bed,” where she continued to tell him to leave and he continued to refuse, then stated she had him “pinned down” (one of the moderators injects here “classic safety sign,” which is great for letting the audience know that victim is resisting and Eric is engaging in criminal behavior);
6. stated that she was “stronger” than him and that he “couldn’t get up,” yet she continues to tell him to leave (remember, she’s intoxicated and this may have been a last attempt to defend herself);
7. he forces digital penetration, at which point it’s apparent he’s going to force other sexual acts (he recounts it as “after that, the deal was pretty much in the bag”);
8. she acquiesces (possibly in fear that he might turn violent if she doesn’t) and asks him to wear a condom and wants to keep her shirt on, for him to make it “quick and dirty”–this type of “consent” constitutes “defense” under Illinois law;
9. makes degrading comments about her “it was okay sex, she didn’t want to do anything special” (as if suddenly she had choices), “she laid on her back… I did my work,” “I found out she texted my friend ‘I don’t do second rate,’ but, she did.”