An attorney who files discrimination suits against bars that offer “ladies’ nights” has sued comedian Iliza Shlesinger, contending that her “Girls Night In” show violated California law by barring men.
According to the suit, George St. George bought a $30 ticket to Shlesinger’s Nov. 13 show at the Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles, which was advertised as “No Boys Allowed.” St. George and a male friend attempted to enter the show anyway. Initially they were told they could sit in the back row, but later they were denied entry and offered a refund, the suit contends.
St. George has been the plaintiff in several such suits challenging “ladies nights” at bars and other public establishments. His attorney, Alfred Rava, has also made a reputation for filing such suits, once telling CNN that he had filed 150 complaints accusing California businesses of violating the Unruh Civil Rights Act of 1959.
“At no time should an entertainer or an entertainment venue require female patrons or male patrons sit in the back of the theater based solely on their sex,” Rava said via email.
The California Supreme Court ruled in Koire v. Metro Car Wash (1985) that “ladies night” discounts violate the Unruh Act, which provides for “full and equal accommodations” to all business establishments regardless of race, sex, religion and disability.
Violations are punishable by a $4,000 fine, plus attorneys’ fees. Businesses that are sued under the act typically reach an out-of-court settlement rather than face the expense of litigation.
Rava is a former secretary of the National Coalition for Men, a San Diego-based non-profit whose website highlights false rape accusations, fathers’ rights issues, violence against men, and the “myth” that men do not do their fair share of housework. The site has also taken issue with “the current sexual abuse hysteria.”
Rava said via email that he is no longer part of the group, and that St. George was never a member.
Shlesinger’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Update, Dec. 28: Shlesinger released the following statement:
“Since this is a legal matter, I’m unable to comment to the specifics of this lawsuit. I will say that of the many shows I do throughout the year, Girls Night In was a singular evening that encouraged women to get together, talk and laugh about the things we go through as well as donate some money to Planned Parenthood. It’s unfortunate that this has now become an issue.”