PHILADELPHIA (CelebrityAccess) Local comedians in Philadelphia are asking the Punch Line Philly comedy club to cancel this weekend’s shows by actor Jeremy Piven because of sexual harassment claims.
Piven played the comedy show last night and has two shows scheduled for this evening and one on Sunday in a lineup called “An Intimate Evening with Jeremy Piven and Friends,” with some proceeds going to a charity to benefit one of the junior “A” hockey team players who was paralyzed in a bus crash in April. The actor, known for his role as agent Ari Gold on “Entourage” and a leading role on HBO’s “Mr. Selfridge,” said his standup comedy tour will hopefully give people “a sense of who I am.”
However, Piven was accused last November by three women of sexual misconduct, and three more stepped forward in January. There have been eight accusers overall, with some accusations dating back to 1985. Two women claimed Piven groped them on the set of “Entourage.” The accusations were reported by Buzzfeed.
“These allegations, which in one case goes back more than 30 years and the two others more than 20 years ago, are false,” Piven said in a statement. “As evidenced by the lie detector test I took and passed, I have never forced myself on anyone, nor have I ever exposed myself or restrained anyone against their will. To the contrary, if any woman ever said no, I stopped.”
Piven’s lawyers threatened legal action against BuzzFeed News over one of the stories, according to the media outlet.
However, dozens of frustrated comedians have attempted to get club owner Live Nation to shut down the shows, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“If [Piven] is allowed to make a comeback and convince the public that he didn’t do anything wrong, that opens the floodgates for other sexual predators to do the same,” local comedian Erin Dohonoy reportedly said in an email to the club. “You are setting a standard in Philadelphia, and it’s a bad one.”
Doheny, who performed at the club for the first time last year, called the Piven’s appearances a “public relations rebranding tour” and a “vehicle to make people forget that he assaulted women.”
Comedian Libby Reindl told the paper that the booking solidified her belief that the comedy scene “caters to these men, like their careers are more important than what they did.”