Bill Cosby on Nov. 6.
UPDATE: The hecklers didn't show up, but Bill Cosby got a standing ovation.
MELBOURNE, Florida — Two local radio personalities are urging attendees of Bill Cosby's Friday night comedy show to stand up mid-performance, yell something about the sexual assault allegations against him, and videotape their heckling.
Sabrina Ambra, one of the radio hosts, told Mashable they will give $1,000 to each protester. The sold-out venue here — the King Center for the Performing Arts — can seat 2,016.
"The plan is to confront Cosby and force him to address the rape allegations that he has dismissed time and time again," said Ambra, who co-hosts radio showThe News Junkie with Shawn Wasson.
"We're calling this 'Operation: Cosby Spartacus.' We're doing this in hopes that multiple people in the audience will do what the mainstream media has failed to accomplish."
Extra security will be on hand because of the anticipated protests, a ticket agent at the venue confirmed to Mashable. A specific number of guards wasn't disclosed.
Local residents have criticized the venue for not canceling Cosby's appearance — like at least four other venues across the United States have — amid the growing number of sexual assault allegations Cosby is facing from multiple women who are coming forward.
Ambra said she's heard from people who are "absolutely" interested in following through with the protest, though she didn't specify whether any ticketholders had confirmed they would participate.
"We’ve gotten numerous emails and calls about participation and a lot of support from listeners and locals," she said.
The 77-year-old comedian has remained silent, refusing to address the allegations, even as TV networks have begun distancing themselves. TVLand said it would no longer air reruns of The Cosby Show, NBC halted development on of a Cosby sitcom, and Netflix postponed a comedy special.
Cosby's lawyer, John P. Schmitt, on Sundaysaid his client has no intention of addressing the allegations.
"Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced," he said, before newer allegations surfaced throughout this week. "The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives."
Among the newer allegations is one from model and TV host Janice Dickinson, who during an interview on Entertainment Tonight said Cosby attacked her three decades ago.
Earlier this week, the King Center explained its decision to not cancel Friday night's show with this statement:
Mr. Cosby is a well-respected member of the entertainment community and one of America’s most beloved performers. While we are aware of the allegations reported in the press, we are only in a position to judge him based on his career as an entertainer and humanitarian. His sold out show at the King Center for the Performing Arts this Friday, November 21 will go on as scheduled.
But Cosby has canceled appearances on the Queen Latifah and David Letterman.
Some of the allegations against Cosby are years old, but they recently resurfaced in the public eye when a video from comedian Hannibal Buress picked up steam online. In it, Buress said Cosby "raped women."
Radio hosts Wasson and Ambra are hoping to make Cosby break his silence.
"We believe that Bill Cosby has successfully avoided addressing these allegations for more than 14 years," Ambra said, "and we hope to put an end to that silence tonight."
The show at the King Center is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET, and Mashablewill be in attendance to report on Cosby's act and any potential protests.
Tags: BILL COSBY, CONVERSATIONS, ENTERTAINMENT, TELEVISION