LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Bill Cosby and a Las Vegas casino on Friday called off a show scheduled for next week, in another blow to his career after several women publicly alleged the entertainer sexually assaulted them decades ago.
The cancellation, along with two other shows in Arizona and Illinois next year, show the allegations are damaging Cosby’s wholesome public image and threaten his future viability in show business.
Officials at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas said the show was canceled “by mutual agreement” and they would offer ticket refunds, but did not elaborate on the reason Cosby’s show was pulled or its financial cost.
Cosby, 77, still has more than 30 performances scheduled through May next year, including a sold out show on Friday in Melbourne, Florida.
Orlando-based Real Radio 104.1 host Shawn Wasson of “The News Junkie” program is asking people attending Cosby’s Friday show to ask the comedian about the allegations and film his response.
“We’re asking people to stand up and demand an answer, not for them to be impolite or cause any trouble, but to for them to stand up during the performance and take Bill Cosby to task in the name of these women,” said Wasson.
The best footage of Cosby responding to questions about the allegations Friday night will be rewarded with $1,000 and numerous prizes being offered by listeners, Wasson said.
Cosby has refused to address questions about the allegations as more women come forward saying he forced himself sexually upon them, some accusing him of drugging them before.
Cosby has never been charged and his lawyers have said the assault claims were “discredited” and “defamatory.”
NBC and Netflix canceled projects with Cosby earlier this week.
The comedian is still slated to perform a show in Yakima, Washington, next week. His 2013 tour grossed $5.7 million, according to concert tracker Pollstar.
Cosby’s sudden fall from grace has jolted generations of Americans who knew him as an actor who broke race barriers on TV over the last 50 years, most notably as the admired father Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the hit NBC comedy “The Cosby Show.”
Therese Serignese, a Florida woman, said Cosby assaulted her in 1976. Model Janice Dickinson, the most high-profile accuser, told “Entertainment Tonight” TV program that she believes Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1982. Both women went public with their allegations this week.
Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Edited by Mary Milliken, Chris Reese and Alan Crosby