TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- More than two dozen individuals plan to boycott Bill Cosby’s Saturday, Dec. 6 show at Tarrytown Music Hall in light of the media attention surrounding allegations that the comedian used his status to sexually abuse women for decades.
“Now we’re getting calls from people saying that we’re endorsing rape, and I totally understand where that frustration and outrage comes from. I have two daughters — I’m a human being, I get it,” said Björn Olsson, Tarrytown Music Hall executive director. “But this is our business, if we were to unilaterally cancel we’d potentially be on the hook for $120,000.”
Cosby’s appearance was booked by AM Productions which in turn rents out the theater. Tarrytown Music Hall has no contact with Cosby’s camp. If Tarrytown Music Hall cancels, they’ll owe AM Productions who will in turn owe Cosby.
Olsson said that the not-for-profit theater would potentially have to fire at least two employees and/or cut back on community programs if they were to lose revenue from Cosby’s appearance.
“If we cancel we hurt, the promoter hurts and Bill Cosby still gets paid every single cent,” said Olsson. “If you want to hurt Bill Cosby, hurt Bill Cosby, but we’re stuck with this.”
There are 16 women who have publicly accused Cosby of being a sexual predator, 12 of whom said he drugged them and then assaulted them, according to Time magazine.
In 2005, Cosby settled a case out of court where Andrea Constand accused him of assault along with 13 “Jane Doe” witnesses, according to Time. Many women recently came forward with their stories after comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist in his act, which went viral online.
No charges have been filed against Cosby, who refuses to comment on the allegations that he has referred to as “innuendos.”
Olsson is thankful that many of the theater’s customers understand that the theater is unable to refund tickets to Cosby’s show.
Tarrytown Music Hall is putting together an “Empty Seat List” and will post the names of the individuals boycotting the show on their empty chair, and will give the list to Cosby’s camp after the show.
“Although we are getting a lot of calls from people who aren’t coming, I think a lot of people are going to come,” said Olsson.
He expects there to be around 800 people at each of Cosby’s two shows on Saturday, Dec. 6.
Daily Voice covered Cosby’s last appearance in Tarrytown in May.
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