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Comic Accused of Harassment During Campus Set

Andy Gross lived up to his name at Purdue with vulgar performance, attendees say
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2018 9:15 AM CDT
A building on the Purdue campus.   (Getty Images/Purdue9394)

(Newser) – "Accounts differ" as to what happened at Purdue University this weekend, but what's clear is that the Indiana college won't be hiring a certain touring comedian again. Andy Gross performed Saturday night as part of the university's Boiler Gold Rush freshman orientation, a routine that was, per a Purdue statement sent to the Indianapolis Star, "clearly inappropriate and contrary to the university's values of respect and support for all." RTV6 reports that "hundreds" of students walked out of Gross' show, which attendees say was filled with tasteless jokes but eventually crossed the line when Gross called a student orientation leader up on stage to help him with his act. Andora Fess, set to start at Purdue this fall, tells the Star that Gross sexually harassed the volunteer, making her stand close to him while he made vulgar references to his genitals and had her touch his upper thigh.

He then joked about "getting a feel." "I was pretty angry and just in shock that this seemingly very famous person was treating women like this," Fess says, adding that people started walking out. The #AndyGrossIsGross hashtag soon started circulating online, with one commenter noting the "huge discomfort" the comic's antics caused. Others expressed pride that so many students had shown Gross his comments were unacceptable. "Seeing the Class of 2022 and BGR staff take a stand against Andy Gross's disgusting 'performance' makes me proud to be a Boilermaker," one student wrote. Per Newsweek, another commented, "I watched my friend get sexually harrassed (sic) by Andy Gross ... Now, I can't wait to watch us end his career." Gross hasn't responded to requests for comment from the Star and AP. (Read more sexual harassment stories.)

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