LONDON, ONT. — A sole protester was escorted out by London Police after calling Bill Cosby a “rapist” during his performance at the city’s Budweiser Gardens Thursday evening, the second of three shows the embattled comedian is performing this week in Canada.
When an audience member shouted out “we love you, Bill,” an unidentified young man retorted: “We don’t love you, Bill. You’re a rapist.”
Moments later, when police motioned him to stand and come with them, the man again disrupted the performance. “I’m getting kicked out because you’re a rapist.”
The audience began booing and Cosby quieted them down, urging them to exercise “patience.”
Earlier in the performance, Cosby alluded to allegations of sexual assault levelled at him by more than 20 women. It occurred when a woman near the front of the stage left her seat and headed for the exit.
After he asked where she was going, the woman said she was going to get a drink and offered to buy him one too.
“You have to be careful drinking alcohol around me,” Cosby quipped, a remark that was met with muted laughter.
An earlier demonstration outside the venue organized by a local women’s group and some union locals was far smaller than expected, drawing less than 100 protesters — a far cry from the 400 promised by organizers.
Nonetheless, security was tight with venue staff searching bags and patting down everyone who entered. Each patron was given a small slip of paper which said: “Patrons have a right to enjoy tonight’s performance. Disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated and will result in removal, possible legal action and/or banning from the venue.”
An electronic display board also had a message reading: “No shirts with profane language.”
Cosby has one final performance Friday evening at Hamilton Place.
The 77-year-old comedian has never been criminally charged in connection with the slew of sexual assault allegations and has denied them through his lawyer.
His reputation, however, has taken a beating.
At least 10 performances on his North American tour were cancelled in the U.S., NBC halted work on a Cosby sitcom that was under development and Netflix indefinitely postponed a special that was set to premiere last month.
- With files from The Canadian Press