WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A comedian whose act caused controversy at Purdue University over the weekend issued an apology.
Some students called Andy Gross’ act “offensive” and “sexist,” and claimed he sexually harassed an audience member.
Glassman Media Group, a Los Angeles-based production company, said Gross was sorry for what happened at Purdue and said he’d performed the same act for “many years” without complaint. He will no longer perform on college campuses, the company said.
Here’s the statement in full:
“Andy Gross is profoundly sorry that students at Purdue University were offended during his show this past weekend. Andy has performed all segments of last weekend’s act for many years without complaint, including in venues such as the Laugh Factory, the Comedy Store, the Improv, and dozens of venues throughout the United States and abroad. Andy has never before been accused of sexual misconduct or harassment.
“Andy was oblivious and naive about the current environment on college campuses, and he sincerely regrets causing any offense or discomfort to any student participating. Andy has chosen to no longer perform on college campuses in the future. Further, he plans to change the parts that upset Purdue’s students.
“Again, Andy Gross sincerely regrets causing offense or discomfort.”
The incident happened during Boiler Gold Rush, an orientation event for incoming students that takes place over several days. Gross’ performance on Saturday at the Elliott Hall of Music was the final scheduled event for Boiler Gold Rush.
Several students walked out of the performance, saying Gross’ behavior was inappropriate. They said he asked a female volunteer from the audience to come on stage, and then requested that she place her hand on his leg. They also said he made several suggestive comments.
After the walkout, the university issued a statement calling some portions of Gross’ performance “clearly inappropriate” and “contrary to the university’s values of respect and support for all.” Purdue said it would not work with Gross again.