The third and final stop of Bill Cosby’s stand-up swing through Southern Ontario saw the embattled comedian performing in Hamilton tonight.
And protesters definitely made sure their voices were heard during tonight’s performance.
“We believe the women” was chanted repeatedly outside the venue.
A crowd of around 30 protestors chanted outside Hamilton Place just after being kicked out of Bill Cosby’s performance. They were wearing t-shirts with the chanted slogan as well. The group was a mix of women and men of all ages and they all appeared to be proud of following through in their protest of the comedian who has been hit with allegations of sexual assault dating back decades from more than 20 women.
Before the show, an even bigger crowd could be seen outside Hamilton Place holding up signs, letting people arriving see their message as well as those driving past on Main Street West.
Protestors in Hamilton said they wanted to make a statement, they wanted to make sure Bill Cosby heard them, and he did. Loud and clear. The third stop on his Southern Ontario swing was by far the loudest when it came to opposition.
It was a pretty big protest outside Hamilton Place on Friday night. About 100 people. Inside the theatre, it was about half full. And about 15 minutes into the show, approximately 30 people stood up and started chanting.
They chanted ‘We believe the women, We believe the women’, while blowing whistles.
Security escorted them out as Cosby called for people to let them speak and be calm.
“It was a small disruption. But it represents the major disruption he made in those women’s lives.”
Outside before the show, over 100 protesters chanted the same thing. The theme for the protest. There was also a spiritual cleansing.
“I’m sent here to help everybody have some good energy so that we can be here in a good mind and a good heart so that we can get some closure to some of these issues.”
And there was a protest of the protest.
“Why are these people out here trying to lynch-mob him, Bill Cosby. We have allegations. We do not have a court case, we do not have a trial, we do not have a verdict. Innocent until proven guilty.”
Cosby is accused of drugging and raping a number of women over several years. He has denied the allegations and has not been charged.
“I’m not a judge, I’m not a lawyer.”
“I can’t point my finger and say yes or no. So, until we can, let’s enjoy his comedic genius.”
But Lenore Lukasik-Foss of Hamilton’s Sexual Assault Centre says the lack of charges and the fact the women didn’t come forward right away shouldn’t surprise people: “we completely understand that this is really confusing for people because we want the courts to be the yardstick of truth. And what we ask people to think about is how would you respond if your friend, your daughter, your sister, your wife said ‘I was sexually assaulted’. You wouldn’t say I’m only going to listen to you if you tell the police.”
Fans of Cosby said the disruption was annoying, but they still enjoyed the show.
“It was annoying, but it really didn’t bother the show. He was fabulous.”
“He was funny. Actually, we were just saying on our way out, he’s really good at improving.”
It doesn’t appear anyone was charged for the disruption.
For the first time tonight, Cosby addressed the demonstrators. He talked about their conviction about standing up for what they believe in, especially in this cold. And he also praised those inside for coming to the show despite everything that was going on outside.
And then he said maybe in two years from now, everyone would be inside, laughing along with the comedy.