Los Angeles: Comedian Bill Cosby's three shows in Canada will take place next week despite the resistance by some sections owing to the allegations of sexual abuse against him by several women.
Cosby, 77, has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting more than 15 women, said The Hollywood Reporter. As controversy has grown, Cosby's scheduled Netflix concert special was cancelled and NBC scrapped a new Cosby sitcom in development.
The promoters of Cosby shows in Canada, however, said the comedian's representatives informed them he has 'every intent' to do them and they are legally obligated to put them on.
Chicago-based Innovation Arts & Entertainment said in a statement they understand the decision is unpopular but that both they and the venues are obligated to proceed and that 'we would face crippling legal obstacles for violation'.
Cosby is scheduled to appear at the Centre in the Square in Kitchener, Ontario, on January 7, at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario, on January 8, and at Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario, on January 9.
"As recently as this morning, IAE has been informed by Mr Cosby's representatives that he has every intent to perform these events," the statement said.
Protests are planned for the Canadian shows. "While it is disappointing for the need to worry about the theatre being a place for planned protests, we are fully prepared to protect our audience," the statement by Innovation Arts & Entertainment said.
Megan Walker, executive director of the London Abused Women's Centre, who is planning a protest outside the London venue, took issue with the promoter's statement.
"There's an implication that somehow a peaceful protest is going to become violent when the violence we're concerned about is the violence that the women have alleged against Mr Cosby," Walker said.
Scott Warren, the general manager of Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario, has said the theatre is bound by a contract with the promoter and would risk being sued if the show were cancelled.