Comedians did not take Will Smith's incident with Chris Rock from last Sunday's Academy Awards lightly.
Many worry that Smith's slap across Rock's face, his subsequent tirade and the lack of immediate consequences set a dangerous precedent for comics around the world, many of whom are accustomed to working late shows for inebriated audiences.
New York City comedy club Stand Up NY addressed the issue with a sign placed in the club's front window, depicting a photo of the infamous slap beside a shot of Smith crying later that evening.
The sign reads:
"Comedians play a critical role in our society, especially during times of chaos and uncertainty. They make us laugh, bring perspective and remind us there are different ways of seeing our reality.
"Comics must be protected. Heckling and physical abuse of comics is prohibited, and patrons will be immediately removed from the showroom."
"Please be respectful of our comedians," the club added in a subsequent statement via Instagram. "Their job is not easy."
Club owner Dani Zoldan tells TMZ that there is a level of concerned about copycats who might feel emboldened by the Smith incident to retaliate anytime they feel offended.
He and other local club owners tell TMZ that they have existing security measures to deal with stage crashers.
Rock has yet to speak in detail on the incident with Smith. He began a tour this week with Kevin Hart.