Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says he won't attend any appearances by Bill Cosby, including a show set for Jan. 9 in the Ontario city, amid sex assault allegations against the American comedian.
- Bill Cosby protesters plan to disrupt Hamilton show from inside
- Judd Apatow blasts Centre in the Square for hosting Bill Cosby
“I share concern regarding the allegations against Mr. Cosby, and more so for the women involved,” Eisenberger said in a statement issued Wednesday. “I'm pleased to see a growing strong voice speaking out against sexual assault and violence against women. The more that is shared will serve to raise more awareness and support change.
“The sheer volume of accusations in this case and the similarities in their stories would suggest that more is to be soon revealed," the mayor added. "Personally, I would not attend any of Mr. Cosby's performances and believe that the people in this community are well equipped to make their own judgments and decide whether or not to attend this upcoming event.”
At least 15 women have levied sexual assault allegations against Cosby, known for his role as head of the Huxtable clan on the popular 1980s-'90s sitcom The Cosby Show. Cosby has not been charged in connection with any of the accusations.
Cosby’s lawyer has previously said his client would not dignify “decade-old, discredited" claims of sexual abuse with a response.
In London, Ont., ahead of a Jan. 8 performance by Cosby, Mayor Matt Brown said he shared concerns with residents upset about the comedian’s show, adding that the promoter was the only person able to cancel the show.
Protest planned for Hamilton theatre
In Hamilton, local writer Anne Bokma has been organizing people to purchase tickets for Cosby's show, to form a protest inside Hamilton Place Theatre.
Bokma previously told CBC Hamilton that people have contacted her with both offers for tickets, which can’t be refunded, as well as by individuals who want to purchase $90 tickets to Hamilton Place Theatre, to join the non-violent protest.
Scott Warren, general manager of FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton Place and the Molson Canadian Studio, has said the venue is not able to cancel the show.
"The venue is not in a position to cancel the show as we have a legally binding contract with the promoter," Warren had said. "Cancelling the show would be a breach of contract and open us up to potential litigation."
In mid-December, Los Angeles prosecutors said they would not be filing charges related to an alleged sexual assault from 1974, saying the statue of limitations had passed. A civil suit was reportedly filed before the prosecutor's decision, with a woman named Judy Huth alleging Cosby forced her to perform a sex act in the Playboy Mansion when she was 15 years old.