Toronto Star

Apatow shames Ontario venues for Cosby shows

Director criticizes theatres in London, Kitchener for not cancelling upcoming shows


Film director Judd Apatow has taken to Twitter to shame two Ontario concert theatres for not cancelling Bill Cosby shows in the face of numerous sexual-assault allegation­s against the comedian.

Apatow, best know for his work on comedies such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, slammed Kitchener’s Centre in the Square and London’s Budweiser Gardens Friday night, saying: “Is Cosby only popular in Ontario, Canada, at this point? Do people still find him delightful after 30 accusers?”

Cosby, who faces sexual-assault allegation­s from at least 15 women, is set to perform at Jan. 7 in Kitchener and Jan. 8 in London. He is also scheduled to perform at Hamilton Place in Hamilton on Jan. 9. Apatow tweeted at the Kitchener and London venues, surprised that the performanc­es are still going ahead.

None of the allegation­s against Cosby have been tested in court, though one complainan­t has launched a civil suit against him. Calls to Cosby’s publicist and agent were not immediatel­y returned Sunday evening.

The Square had said in an earlier statement that the show will not be cancelled because the venue is “contractua­lly obligated to move forward with the show.”

In a Nov. 24 blog post, the Square said the venue was booked over a year ago and it will incur huge costs if it breaks its earlier contract.

“The Centre would need to pay any guarantee fee contracted to Mr. Cosby and compensate the promoter for any losses from box office and show expenses,” the blog post read.

“The Centre would also need to re- fund patrons.”

Hamilton Place general manager Scott Warren told the Star “We would be in breach and subject to potential litigation if we were to cancel.”

Cosby’s shows have met some local resistance, with a volunteer group in Kitchener arranging an alternativ­e show on the day of the comedian’s appearance.

The show, dubbed Voices Carry, is a fundraiser; the group is hoping to channel proceeds from ticket sales to women’s shelters in the area.

In London, a city councillor and local women’s group have called for the cancellati­on of Cosby’s show, with a representa­tive of the latter saying it has a “backup plan” if cancellati­on does not happen.

Hamilton’s Woman Abuse Working Group said in a statement, “If the event is not cancelled, WAWG will proceed to organize a peaceful gathering outside the venue on Jan. 9.”

It acknowledg­ed that the venues cited their contracts, but the group-questioned the extent of the pacts’ obligation­s.

“While we understand this, it appears that other communitie­s have been able to cancel performanc­es,” the Hamilton women’s group said, citing Las Vegas and those in the states of New York, Iowa, Arizona, South Carolina and Illinois. With files from Tara Deschamps and Star wire services

 ??  ?? Director Judd Apatow, left, took to Twitter to ask if Bill Cosby was “only popular in Ontario.”
Director Judd Apatow, left, took to Twitter to ask if Bill Cosby was “only popular in Ontario.”
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