In Kitchener, Ontario, at the end of his first show since November, Bill Cosby got an ovation from his polite Canadian fans. However, the protesters outside braved cold weather in order to shame the people who bought tickets as they streamed in.
This show in Kitchener was the first of three which were planned in Ontario, Canada’s province. But, they come during the allegations of sexual assaults from more then 15 women. As a result, Cosby got at least 10 shows canceled on his tour in North America.
Cosby went at the stage wearing a sweater saying “hello friend” and with two giant posters of him with Nelson Mandela. People in the audience gave loud whoops, but it couldn’t be compared with the ovation at his last stage performance, which was held in Florida. “First of all thank you.” – Cosby said to the audience before he started with jokes about cold weather.
During the performance there were no disruptions and the people laughed throughout. “I had a wonderful time.” – Cosby said before he left from the standing ovation. About two-thirds seats were full from available 2,000, and several private security guards and police officers were posted around the stage.
In sub-freezing temperatures, more than a dozen protesters were outside the Centre in the Square, carrying signs saying “rape is no joke.” Some of the protesters shouted “shame on you” and “you support rape” at the fans. They even blocked the doors of the venue, but the security asked them to leave. However, fans defended Bill Cosby as they arrived at the show.
“I’m skeptical of all the accusations. I always loved Cosby, good family humor. Why are 20 women coming out now when it’s 20, 30 years ago?” – Gerald Reinink said.
“Innocent until proven guilty. I’m hope it’s not true and until I know otherwise I
love him to death.” – Dan Emerson said.
The 77-year-old comedian is also scheduled to appear in London on Thursday at the Budweiser Gardens and in Hamilton on Friday at the Hamilton Place Theatre. Several hours before Bill Cosby went at the stage, his attorney, Gloria Allred, said that three more women showed up with the accusations for drugging and sexual assaulting them in Las Vegas and Los Angeles from 1981 to 1996.
At news conference in Los Angeles, Allred also said that these accusations are too old for the lawsuit or criminal charges. On Wednesday, in an interview with ABC World News Tonight, woman who played Cliff Huxtable’s wife Claire on the Cosby Show, Phylicia Rashad, defended her co-star. Rashad said she is convinced the allegations are a part of dirty campaign to destroy Bill Cosby’s legacy.
“He’s a genius. He is generous, he’s kind, he’s inclusive. This is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of legacy.” – Rashad said to Roger Friedman earlier this week. This was the first Cosby’s show since November 21 in Melbourne, Florida, where the comedian was greeted by an adoring fans.