A female comedian says she’s being bullied by her male counterparts on social media after landing a gig at a Cape Town venue.
Lavender Hill comic Arlene Petersen says she was victimised after a male comedian accused her of “stealing his gig” and another claimed she gave club owner oral sex to get on stage.
Arlene says she was so shocked at the remarks from comedians Ismail Moses and Altaaf Sayed that she wrote a song about it, which has just been released.
According to Ismail, Arlene poached his stand-up gig at Urban Oasis in Plein Street in the Cape Town CBD.
But she insists the owner approached her.
In a public post on Facebook in August, Ismail said: “Please comics. Newer ones especially. Have the decency to check with the regular person that runs a gig before approaching the owners to do your own show!”
Arlene says she felt offended because Ismail had already sent her a direct message prior to the post and she cleared things up.
The 32-year-old, who has been in the industry for two years, says: “If this wasn’t enough, comedian Altaaf Sayed commented, ‘Wow. ain’t you special. After so many other comics having done the same. Maybe he smaak a ding. Chys! Then you get to suig German p**l for a stage gig. Miskien green card later on also’.”
She says she was so shocked and disappointed that she wrote a song to express her feelings.
“We recorded the song in a Quantum van outside my workplace over two days two weeks ago.”
The song, called, Is jy bef*k in jou kop, goes: ‘Elke dag staan ek op, Met ’n plan diep binne in my kop, Al voel ’it soes’ie lewe my net soe een kant toe wil drop, Ek maak mistakes op social media, En ek voel somtyds inferior.”
The comedian, who previously shared the stage with the likes of Marc Lottering, Barry Hilton and Shimmy Isaacs, says the industry is much easier on men than women.
“They go on stage and open with sex jokes and the audience laughs their heads off.
“In my personal experience, I’ve learned that female comics first needs to warm up the audience to like the performance before even attempting sex jokes,” she says.
When the Daily Voice contacted Sayed, all he would say was: “No comment.”
According to Ismail, he didn’t target Arlene on Facebook, but maintains she stole his gig.
“From the post, you can see I didn’t mention her name. I approached her privately and then made that general post to educate other comics.
“Arlene basically poached one of my gigs, causing the owner to cancel mine, mine being paid for and her offer was to do a free comedy show, and her response to me was appalling to say the least.”
Nawaal Wiencke from Urban Oasis said the venue is open to anyone who wants to perform: “We don’t have anyone specific or resident here. I gave my business card to Arlene, as I do with any guest who comes here. Nobody poached any gigs from anyone.”