Comedian Ashley Gavin more recently made a name for herself through viral TikTok clips of her stand-up comedy set. Known for her dry humor and crowd work, newer fans from TikTok have been excited to see one of their favorite social media comedians live on tour this summer. Gavin additionally hosts the podcast “We’re Having Gay Sex” and “Chosen Family” alongside Alayna Joy and Makaela Ingemi. Gavin’s comedy specials have been featured on Netflix, Hulu, and Comedy Central.
Much of Gavin’s comedy focuses on her own lesbian identity and the LGBTQ+ community at large. She often involves audience members in her sets, which has resulted in countless viral clips across social media. At a recent show, one fan expressed that she felt that Gavin took it too far with her. Olivia Neely (@og_neely) went to see the comedian perform in Indianapolis, Indiana. Neely purchased VIP tickets to meet the comedian after the show with a friend.
Ashley Gavin tells me to go k*ll myself over and over during sold out show. “Unalived” used for tiktok regulations. #ashleygavin #ashleygavincomedy #unaliveawareness #unaliveattemptsurvivor #unalivedawareness #comedy #notfunnydidntlaugh
Neely recalled Gavin telling her in front of the crowd that she was “the most annoying fan to ever come to one of her shows,” and that she should “kill herself.” Neely had quipped back darkly about her prior suicide attempt, hinting for the comedian to stop. Gavin continued to tell Neely to kill herself. At this point, Neely and her friend decided to leave the show. Following Neely’s personal account of the incident, video footage from the Indianapolis show surfaced on TikTok, corroborating her claims.
Social Media Reactions
Several other creators who were either present in Indianapolis or at other recent Gavin shows duetted the video with their own negative experiences. A former fan who attended a different Gavin show additionally alleged that the comedian told her to kill herself.
#stitch with @Olivia Neely #greenscreen this was truly one of the worst days for me this year, especially due to my really hard year and trauma i was dealing with at the time #ashleygavin #ashgavs #ashleygavincomedy #comedy #tw #storytime
Onlookers were quick to defend the several show goers accounts of their respective negative experiences. Stand-up comedy is known to push boundaries and joke about controversial subject matter, but countless social media users felt it was taken too far. A creator named Coyote Annie (@coyoteannie) chimed in to remind fans that Gavin responded to a tweet saying that she was pro-suicide. Annie expressed that her teenaged son was a fan of Gavin’s, and that he had ben struggling with his mental health recently. She entreated Gavin to apologize due to the real life consequences of her actions.
One former fan of Gavin additionally pointed out numerous other instances in which Gavin made jokes about autism and several other medical conditions. The creator additionally explained why Gavin’s assumptions about audience member’s sexualities could also be dangerous. In a time in which LGBTQ+ rights are under attack across several states, many queer people find themselves faced with unprecedented obstacles, and the creator felt it was not Gavin’s place to out them.
I hahe gone to houndreds of stand up shows and have never seen that level of disrespect. People shouldn’t leave your shows crying when your literal job is to make them laugh. Do better #ashleygavin
Others pointed to the fine line between crowd work and insulting bullying. On Gavin’s podcasts, she frequently discusses being a mental health advocate, and this behavior shocked audiences given its opposite viewpoint from her prior claims.
The comedian is still on tour, and is yet to address the mounting controversies surrounding her work.