Arj Barker: Furious backlash as top comedian kicks breastfeeding mum and her baby out of his Melbourne Comedy Festival

A breastfeeding mum attending a comedy show in Melbourne was reduced to tears when popular comedian Arj Barker kicked her out for ‘disrupting his performance’.

Barker asked the mother and her seven-month-old baby to leave about 15 minutes after his show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival on Saturday evening.

One participant, David, told Radio 3AW that Barker “stopped the show and said, ‘Can you take this baby outside?’ and the crowd wasn’t sure if he meant it.”

“It was incredibly uncomfortable.”

3AW reported that a witness described the baby “making a little noise after being breastfed” when Barker decided to ask her to come out.

A festival goer claimed Arj Barker (above) ‘defamed’ the breastfeeding woman who was on a night out with her sister

A group of people left the show after the awkward confrontation.

In a statement released Monday, Barker blamed Athenaeum Theater staff for placing the mother and child.

“This show is strictly for ages 15 and over as clearly stated on the ticket site,” Barker said.

‘She had a baby with her. The baby disrupted my performance.

“On behalf of the other 700 people who paid to see the performance, I politely told her the baby couldn’t stay.

“She thought I was joking, which made the exchange a little awkward.

‘I felt bad about the whole situation and said this more than once that night. I offered her a refund.

“The theater staff shouldn’t have put a baby in my audience in the first place.”

Barker performed his new show Mind Field at Melbourne's Athenaeum Theater from March 28 to April 21

Barker performed his new show Mind Field at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theater from March 28 to April 21

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival said Barker was produced independently and the venue was not managed by the festival.

“However, any interaction between artists and their audiences requires sensitivity and respect,” a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.

‘At our festival-run venues, arms-in-arms are generally allowed, but we do ask people to sit with their child on their back so they can leave quickly and easily if the baby gets noisy, and the performer and do not disturb other customers.’

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Barker for further comment.