Kitchener-Waterloo

Kitchener Bill Cosby fans should evaluate support, says sex assault support centre

The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region says it understands the call to boycott a live Bill Cosby show in London, Ont., coming from London Abused Women’s Centre.
In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during a news conference. That same day, Cosby refused to address sexual assault allegations on camera. (Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region says it understands a call to boycott a live Bill Cosby show in London, but has not determined whether it will take a similar stand ahead of the comedian's Jan. 7 appearance in Kitchener.

There has been a growing uproar over allegations that the 77-year-old comedian sexually assaulted several women in past decades. 

The London Abused Women’s Centre called for a boycott of the Bill Cosby: 77 show at the Budweiser Gardens on Jan. 8.

"We can understand why an organization that sees the impact of sexual violence on women in their centre every day would choose to take a stand on this and encourage others to speak out," said Joan Tuchlinsky, public education manager at the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region on Thursday.

Cosby is also scheduled to perform at Kitchener’s Centre in the Square theatre on Jan. 7. Tuchlinsky said the Sexual Assault Support Centre has not considered a formal boycott of the show.

“[W]e ourselves, although we have not made a decision or talked about doing a formal boycott, would…encourage people in our community, to ask the question, 'If I purchase a ticket or attend this event by an artist who there are many allegations against around sexual violence, am I perpetuating a rape culture, perpetuating a society where it is O.K. to hurt women?'” said Tuchlinsky.

Centre in the Square referred inquiries about this issue to Innovation Arts and Entertainment, the presenter that is renting the theatre for Cosby’s performance. CBC News made repeated calls to Innovation Arts and Entertainment, but was not able to reach a representative.

Earlier this week, Former Ford model Janice Dickinson, in an interview with "Entertainment Tonight," became the third woman in recent weeks to allege she'd been assaulted by Cosby -- charges strongly denied by the comedian's lawyer.

Cosby has never been charged in connection with any of the allegations.

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