Cosby hecklers at a run of shows the comedian performed in Canada marred all of his performances. The three-city tour, which ended on Friday night, were fairly well-attended, but a number of protesters showed up both inside and outside to scold Cosby publicly for a string of recent rape and sexual assault accusations.
Cosby has been accused of rape, sexual assault, and attempted sexual assault by 15 women, some anonymously and some very publicly. Some of his accusers have been famous women, including Beverly Johnson. Cosby has never been charged with anything, and has denied any wrongdoing. Some of the allegations are decades-old, and go back as far as 1965.
During his shows, Canada this past week, Cosby was met by hecklers inside the auditorium and outside in the freezing cold. The performance came after a string of cancelled shows and ended affiliations with universities in the U.S. in recent months.
During one of the shows, Cosby did make an ill-advised, self-deprecating joke referencing the claims against him when he told a woman to “be careful” getting a drink around him. Many Cosby accusers have said that he drugged their drink and then attacked them.
Over 100 protesters were outside of the venue, questioning why anyone would pay to see one of the shows.
“Why would you want to pay to see a rapist?” asked Milena LeDuc, one of the protesters, said in an interview with CNN.
The venue was about half full on his second night.
At his third and final show on Friday night, a group of hecklers started chanting repeatedly “we believe the women” before the 77-year-old comedian told the audience not to react. The hecklers marched out of the theater.
Just before the outburst, Cosby had told the audience that in case of any disruptions as in previous nights, that they should just stay calm.
“Whatever happens here tonight if there’s some sort of outburst, we just have to remain calm and things will be taken care of. It oughtn’t last that long,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “I want to thank all of you here tonight because you stayed with what you believed in.”
The shows in Canada were the first time that the comedian had performed since accusations prompted the cancellation of a string of shows in November. At his final show in Canada, bags were carefully checked and an announcement at the start of the show asked everyone to stay calm if Cosby hecklers caused a disturbance.
[Image via Illinois Mirror]