Amidst the controversy surrounding Bill Cosby, there is a growing demand for cancellation of the comedian’s performances across Ontario and a threat of protests.
We’ll assume that you’ve heard that Bill Cosby is not a fan-favourite right now for reasons of a rather criminal nature. The 77-year-old comedian stands accused of drugging and sexually assaulting over a dozen women in a period of several decades — an allegation he denies. Now, Canada is one of the latest countries with a public call for a boycott of Cosby’s performances. How do we feel about that?
The comedian is due to appear in Kitchener, London and Hamilton, Ontario, in January with all three shows proceeding per schedule, but there is a growing disdain for the controversial performances.
“To have him appear in public is inconsistent with the values of London,” stated Megan Walker, the executive director of the London Abused Women’s Centre. “We need to stand on the side of women who have the courage to come forward, instead of Mr. Cosby.”
Adding, “Very clearly from what we’ve heard, he isn’t Cliff Huxtable.”
Cosby has not been criminally charged, but his scheduled Netflix concert special was cancelled along with a sitcom in development for NBC. The comedian also lost nine shows out of over 30.
Walker stated that if the Cosby performances are not cancelled, she hopes to see fervent protests outside the theatres and — in all likelihood — that is the most probable outcome. The general manager of the Hamilton Place Theatre, Scott Warren, told Canada.com that the theatre is bound by a contract to keep the performance and would risk a lawsuit if it was cancelled.
The question is: What is the proper course of action here? Cancelling the shows will give legitimacy to the accusations that may possibly be false, but keeping them devalues the claims completely. By proceeding with the scheduled performances, the proprietors are insinuating that the victims’ allegations are not taken seriously. What do you think? Should Cosby’s performances be scrapped?