Bill Cosby has said that despite all the accusations, despite all the evidence that he is undoubtedly a rapist, he will continue touring. But the truth of the matter is, it's not up to him. It's up to those who choose to see him live, those venues that choose to host him, those networks that choose to air his show. And in Denver, Colorado, at a show on Saturday, around a hundred people gathered to express their opposition to Cosby. They yelled "rape is not a joke" and "no signifies no" outside the venue. Inside, however, he received a standing ovation. He didn't make any mention of the allegations. Earlier that day, a Denver woman held a press conference detailing how Cosby drugged and raping her.
Though some shows have been cancelled, Cosby has indeed been able to continue his tour. I receive regular emails about comedy events in the Boston area, and I have found it incredibly jarring to see Cosby's smiling face among a list of comedians coming to my city, including Hannibal Buress, whose criticism of Bill Cosby brought his past accusations back into the public eye. Cosby will appear at the Wilbur Theater in February as scheduled, and the venue's promoter has defended the decision.
I don't understand why people are going to this show. I don't understand why venues are still continuing to support him. It makes me think twice about going to more shows at the Wilbur, though I was planning on supporting Buress when he comes to the theater in April.
The protesters at the Denver show have it right, as do the hecklers and protesters at other venues. So does NBC, which cancelled Cosby's sitcom that was planned for the fall of 2015. If Cosby is coming to a theater near you, and you believe the 30 plus women who have accused him of rape, do not attend his show, even if you want to heckle him. While amorality isn't enough to get Cosby banned from the public sphere (I wish), the bottom line will. Organize a protest if one isn't already happening. In my city of Boston, there's one in the works, and I will certainly be there.