Kitchener-Waterloo

Centre In The Square explains why it won't cancel Bill Cosby show

Centre in the Square has written a blog post explaining why it isn't cancelling Bill Cosby's show, scheduled for Jan. 7.
Bill Cosby's Jan. 9 show in Hamilton isn't being cancelled, officials say. (Reuters)

Centre In The Square says while there have been "concerns raised by patrons and the local community" about the Kitchener venue hosting embattled comedian Bill Cosby for a Jan. 7 show, contractual obligations and financial penalties preclude an outright cancellation.

There has been a growing uproar over allegations that Cosby assaulted several women in the past. Cosby has never been charged in connection with any of the allegations.

In a blog post written on Monday, Centre In The Square says the theatre is being rented by a promoter and breaking their contract would incur heavy costs.

"Commercial rental shows at The Centre are crucial for the venue to earn sufficient funds to operate," the post said.

The Centre would have to compensate the promoter, Innovation Arts and Entertainment, for box office losses and show expenses, refund all tickets, and pay back "any guarantee fee contracted to Mr. Cosby." 

"While we may personally share concerns raised by the community, if The Centre forces a cancellation of this rental show it isn’t simply a situation of giving back the rent," the Centre says in the post. "For these reasons we will continue to discuss options with the promoter, sharing the community concerns with them."

The blog post did not reveal how much money it could lose in the event of a cancellation. Calls to Innovation Arts and Entertainment on Monday were not returned.

"Our response is not complacent or an attempt to pass on the blame. This is an honest response to a complicated situation," said the post.

Centre in The Square declined to offer comment beyond what was written in the blog post.

The London Abused Women's Centre has called for a boycott of the comedian's show at Budweiser Gardens on Jan. 8, and the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region has encouraged fans to evaluate their support.

Cosby is also scheduled to perform on Jan. 9 in Hamilton, the final of the three Canadian dates on his existing standup schedule.

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