Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, the Hamilton Spectator – Friday January 9 2015
Bill Cosby urges fans “to remain calm” if Ontario shows disrupted
Embattled comedian Bill Cosby is worried about protesters disrupting the three shows he has scheduled in Ontario this week as his international tour rolls on despite growing allegations of sexual assault.
Cosby issued a statement Tuesday urging people who attend his performances to remain calm if a show is interrupted and to “not confront the person making the disruption.”
The 77-year-old comedian is set to perform in Kitchener on Wednesday night, London on Thursday and Hamilton on Friday.
In Hamilton, protests are planned Friday at Hamilton Place. The Women’s Abuse Working Group says they will organize a “peaceful gathering”outside the theatre.
Claus Wagner, acting media relations officer for Hamilton Police, said officers will be keeping an eye on the protest to ensure everything goes smoothly. He couldn’t say yet how many officers may be needed.
He said charges will be laid if necessary but more likely protesters will be moved away to calm down if things get a little heated.
“We always allow people to protest peacefully,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Premier Kathleen Wynne said she would not attend any of Cosby’s shows in Ontario because of the “very serious” allegations of sexual assault the comedian is facing.
Wynne says she would not go to any of his performances until the allegations against Cosby have been sorted out.
Since November, at least 15 women have come forward with claims Cosby sexually assaulted them decades ago — with some saying he drugged them before he assaulted them.
Cosby, who starred as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992, has never been criminally charged in connection with any of the allegations, and through his lawyer he has denied them.
At least 10 shows on Cosby’s current tour were cancelled or postponed because of the scandal, but his appearances in the three Ontario cities will proceed, despite local opposition. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)