Amy Schumer and Whitney Cummings have spoken out about their role in the comedy community after fellow comedian, Chris D’Elia, was accused of asking for nude photos and other inappropriate behaviour with underage girls. Last week, a number of women came forward on social media to allege D’Elia had inappropriately pursued them over email and text, and also provided screenshots of the alleged encounters. Five of them later spoke to the Los Angeles Times about their experiences, one of which included D’Elia allegedly exposing himself. D’Elia has denied the accusations of underage advances in a statement to TMZ, but Schumer and Cummings have spoken out in support of the survivors.
"It's taken me a couple days to process the information I have learned about Chris," Cummings, who starred across D'Elia on Whitney from 2011 to 2013, wrote on Instagram. "I'm devastated and enraged by what I've read and learned. This is a pattern of predatory behaviour. This abuse of power is enabled by silence."
Cummings promised she would not be silent moving forward, while Schumer even provided her phone number for those who need support.
"There are great men out there," Schumer wrote on Instagram. "And there are men who humiliate and abuse women and girls because of a power dynamic or because when they were that age girls wouldn't talk to them. Whatever your reasoning is, or was. We are watching you and we are all together now and we won't accept this behaviour whether you break the law or not."
D’Elia has maintained that he never “knowingly pursued any underage women at any point," but also apologised for getting "caught up in [his] lifestyle."
"It took me a long time to realise what happened to me wasn’t just a funny joke to tell at parties," Simone Rossi, one of the first accusers whose tweet went viral, told Refinery29 over Twitter DM. "I was being preyed on, and when you’re that young, and especially when you’re talking to someone so famous, you think it’s cool and exciting."
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.