Chris D’Elia, the stand-up comedian who starred in the NBC sitcoms Undateable and Whitney, and who has memorably played a pedophile in both Workaholics and Netflix’s You, has been accused of sexual misconduct towards minors by numerous women over the last day. Young women from throughout the U.S. and Canada have shared similar stories online about D’Elia’s sexual harassment, including accusations of grooming minors, soliciting nudes from girls under 18, inviting minors to hang out after shows, offering to fly women he met online to Los Angeles, and, in one case, even threatening to use nude photographs to blackmail one into visiting him in L.A.
The wave of accusations began when Simone Rossi, who posts on Twitter under the account @girlpowertbh, accused D’Elia of grooming her through emails and direct messages starting when she was 16 and he was in his 30s. In a series of tweets posted yesterday, Rossi shares screen captures of emails that appear to have been sent by D’Elia. In another tweet she writes about this online relationship and mentions D’Elia by name: “for the longest time i thought it was embarrassing for ME that I was interacting with this older man but he was the one who DM’d me on twitter and was the one who was twice my age and was the one that used the power imbalance between us to his advantage so f*ck chris d’elia.”
This incited a wave of similar accusations from other women online, who related frequently similar stories about D'Elia grooming them and trying to talk them into visiting him in person when he was in their area. Many of these allegations were posted anonymously through the Twitter account @SheRatesDogs, where women share stories of harassment and abuse from men. @SheRatesDogs has posted a long list of anonymous accusations against D'Elia over the past day, including the accusation of blackmail.
Not all accusations have been anonymous. Other women have shared stories and screenshots of past conversations with D'Elia from their personal social media accounts.
Basically there are a lot of women coming forward about D’Elia, and presenting compelling evidence of the comedian’s misconduct. Comedy, like most industries, has a long history of sexual misconduct and misogyny, and a successful touring comedian using his fame to groom underage fans wouldn’t be remotely surprising in a culture that has long glorified the existence of groupies. That may not be the case here, but these kinds of accusations can’t just be dismissed, especially when there are so many with so many similarities. D’Elia has denied the allegations to TMZ. Meanwhile Paste has reached out to Chris D’Elia’s management team and publicist for comment, but have yet to hear back; we’ll update this post when we do.