A comedian was paid $200 to be in a video last week. The abusive comments haven't stopped yet.

Sydney-based comedian, Steph Broadbridge has spoken out on social media after being targeted in an onslaught of online abuse in response to a viral video. 

Broadbridge was hired and paid $200 by a small company to feature in a video alongside a male comedian in which he read jokes off the internet to her and she tried not to laugh. 

It sounds like a simple enough concept but the premise of the video was that if Broadbridge did laugh, she would have to drink a shot of vodka. 

The male comedian tried to get her to crack with jokes like, "what do you call a dog that can do magic? A lab-racadabror". 

Broadbridge explained in a post on her Instagram that she's allergic to alcohol and it was filmed at 10am so she did her best not to laugh at all and actually ended up 'winning' the video 10 to one against the male comedian. 

She wrote that in the post she "assumed the video content would disappear into social media land like the billions of other comedy videos that no one ever sees". 

A still from the viral video featuring Steph. Image: YouTube. 


Unfortunately, that isn't what happened and the video – which was originally posted to TikTok by the company that produced it – went viral instead.

One clip from the video currently has over 38 million views on the platform. Broadbridge told Mamamia that her friends first alerted her to the clip gaining traction online as she doesn't visit TikTok very often. 

"I had no idea but of course when something like that happens people send it to you like you're 'blowing up' because on the surface they assume it's a positive thing for that many people to be seeing your face," she said. 

Upon opening the post, Broadbridge was confronted with hundreds of abusive comments accusing her of being 'disrespectful' because she wasn't laughing at the male comedian's jokes (even though that was literally the brief of the video). 

She said that she felt helpless and completely overwhelmed by the number of people that were targeting her with offensive, hateful and sexist comments. 

Broadbridge said that she assumes the response must be because her reaction of not laughing or smiling at the male comedian's jokes tapped into something in the audience where they felt she wasn't "responding to the man in the way that they wanted". 


"I didn't laugh, I would have normally laughed. I would have laughed even if it wasn't funny. I'm a very generous laugher. My laugh is famous in Sydney comedy rooms for soaring over other laughs.., but I didn't laugh at a dad joke ripped from the internet and TikTok exploded with hatred towards me," she wrote in her Instagram post. 

Broadbridge told Mamamia that she alerted the production team that had published the video that she was being attacked online but they were too slow to start moderating the comments section and the video is still online. The company has so far still not taken the video down and has, according to Broadbridge, actually gained thousands of followers since it was posted. 

The video has also been published beyond TikTok and now appears on the meme aggregation website 9GAG under the headline 'She Has No Sense Of Humour' where many of the comments are just as vitriolic and abusive as they are on TikTok. 


Broadbridge said that she doesn't necessarily blame the small company that created the posts but wishes they had been more aware of the potential for backlash and abuse against her. 

The abuse that Broadbridge has received is a stark reminder of how much sexism women who work in comedy are battling every day.

Broadbridge told Mamamia that she has said that she's received messages from about 30 female comedians saying that they have been through something similar and the abuse isn't just relegated to TikTok – it's everywhere online. 

She said that it's impossible to "separate the sexism" from the response to her performance and that it has ultimately affected her ability to perform live in the evenings since the video was posted over a week ago.

"You're already working at night trying to get that over the line [with audiences] and then I'm so tired from reading the comments that I feel like I can't be funny [doing stand-up] – and then the commenters win."

Image: Supplied.

As one of our readers we want to hear from you! Complete this survey now to go in the running to win one of five $100 gift vouchers.