A Melbourne mum took her baby to Arj Barker's show when he asked her to leave.

A breastfeeding mother has been left "humiliated" after a popular comedian reportedly kicked her out of his comedy show, claiming the act was "interrupting his train of thought".

Comedian Arj Barker allegedly told Trish Faranda and her seven-month-old baby to leave his show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival on Sunday night.

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Trish, a mother of three, attended the show with her sister and a friend and felt humiliated by Barker's actions, describing it as heckling.

"We were seated in the fourth row and I made sure I sat right towards the end to make sure I was ready to leave quickly if my baby started to cry," Trish told the Herald Sun.

"She was babbling a bit, she was laughing along to the show and just looking around and enjoying where she was. She wasn’t making much noise at all and certainly wasn’t crying. Someone that had to cough would have been much louder.

"No one in the crowd turned around to look at us or took notice of her – just Arj."

According to Trish, Barker made a joke, saying something along the lines of: "You’ve got a baby, I speak fluent baby, it said take me outside."


"Everyone was laughing, as we thought it was part of the show. But then he made it clear he didn’t want me there and basically said to leave while still speaking on the mic. He said it was interrupting his train of thought," she said.

"I grabbed my stuff and left straight away with my baby. It was awful and humiliating."

Following Barker's remarks, 12 additional audience members stood up and departed along with Trish.

Barker's show, Mind Field, is intended for audiences aged 15 and older. In a statement issued on Monday morning, he remained resolute in his decision, saying that the child was causing disruption to his performance.

 "The show is strictly age 15 plus as clearly stated on the ticket site. She had an infant with her. The baby was disrupting my performance," he said.

"On behalf of the other 700 people who paid to see the gig, I politely told her the baby couldn’t stay. She thought I was kidding, which made the exchange a bit awkward.

"I felt bad about the whole situation and stated this on the night more than once. I offered her a refund. Theatre staff should not have seated a baby in my audience in the first place."

Barker's move has sparked criticism, with people taking to his Instagram comment section to share their thoughts.


"Disgusting behaviour asking a breastfeeding mother to leave your show. If it distracted you that much, you're the one with the problem," commented one user.

"You kicked a breastfeeding mother and her newborn out of your show!?!? Your train of thought must have been pretty weak that it could be disrupted by a mother attending to her child. Absolutely disgusting, atrocious behaviour," said another.

However, the comedian has also received plenty of support, with some people agreeing with his decision.

"As a mum myself, I wouldn't bring a baby to a comedy show! Babies are unpredictable and mums should consider others in such an environment. Babies are welcome in other places, just not live theatres. Everyone paid to be entertained by Arj, not to be distracted by a baby," commented a fan.

A spokesperson for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival said Barker's show was independently produced, and the venue where he performed was not managed by the festival.

"However, any interaction between performers and their audiences requires sensitivity and respect," they said.

"In our Festival managed venues, babes in arms are generally allowed but we do ask people to sit up the back with their child so they can quickly and easily leave if the baby gets noisy so as not to disturb the artist and other patrons."

Feature image: Getty.

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