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Arj Barker Faces Backlash for Ejecting Breastfeeding Mother and Infant

April 22, 2024 3:10 pm in by Trinity Miller
Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Comedian Arj Barker has stirred controversy by asking a breastfeeding mother and her infant to leave his performance at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre. The mother’s cousin condemned Barker’s behaviour as disrespectful, triggering public backlash. Supporters of Barker, however, argued that bringing an infant to an adult comedy show was inappropriate. Barker explained that his decision was due to an audio disruption and not the breastfeeding. Audience members offered varying reactions, from stating that the baby was noisy to others aggravating the situation. Barker has faced significant criticism online.

The mother felt publicly shamed by the entire incident. Though Barker expressed regret over his action, he justified it was necessary to prevent disruptions to his show. He further highlighted that the show was strictly for those aged 15 and above, implying that theatre personnel should not have allowed an infant in the first place.

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Arj clarified that his lack of awareness about the mother’s breastfeeding was the reason for his request for her to vacate. He had asked her to leave solely due to an auditory disturbance.

The comedian explained to Yahoo Lifestyle “I did not have any inkling about breastfeeding until this morning,” the comedian said.

“This was all to do with an audio disruption of my show, nothing more.”

He continued, “For the record, I am happy for anyone to breastfeed a baby anywhere they like, as I feel it’s perfectly natural and therefore a nonissue to me.”

What made the situation even more tense was the alleged attitude of a few audience members. With some shouting at the woman to get out.

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