George Lopez walks off stage over hecklers

George Lopez is caught in a back-and-forth with Eagle Mountain Casino over who is to blame for his unfinished show

George Lopez walks off stage over hecklers
George Lopez Photo: Araya Doheny

George Lopez must have seen his fair share of unruly crowds over his long career, but he’s reached a place where he doesn’t want to (or need to) listen to hecklers. Last Friday, the comic caught heat for walking out of his show at Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville, California after just 30 minutes. Lopez blamed the crowd and the casino for fostering an unsafe environment; the casino hit back that his exit “came as a shock to everyone” and that his claims were “not consistent with casino footage and surveillance.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Lopez told TMZ, “It’s the venue or casino’s job to provide a good experience for both the artist and the fans, but the casino failed in this regard. The audience was overserved and unruly, and the casino staff was unable to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for the artist and guests.” They continued, “George’s personal security team worked with the venue security staff to maintain order, ensure safety, and eject disruptive individuals. Unfortunately, the casino security team was not adequate to accomplish this task. George is not obligated to perform in an unsafe environment. He feels badly that those who came to see the show were unable to do so as a result.”

The casino, meanwhile, shifts the responsibility for managing the unruly guests onto Lopez and his team. “It was the job of Lopez private security team to inform casino security if they wanted to escort anyone out which never occurred,” Eagle Mountain wrote in its official statement, posted to its Facebook page. “Mr. Lopez or his private security had every opportunity to inform casino team if they wanted a guest escorted out and they did not.”

The casino’s assistant general manager acknowledged that the recording did show “guests yelling out,” but that the heckling was positive—“we love you, can we buy you a drink, etc.” Video obtained by TMZ bears this out but also shows Lopez becoming frustrated with the frequent interruptions. After stopping and restarting a joke multiple times, he asks the crowd if they’re going to let him do his show: “I’m serious… I seem like an asshole, I’m the one working,” he says.

Eagle Mountain noted in its statement that the show was initially scheduled for April and “was canceled by the comedian just an hour before the show citing a health emergency.” The casino “supported the entertainer and wished him well,” accommodating the date change from April to June. “Now, for a second time, the comedian is causing the casino to once again accommodate guests by reimbursing show tickets and going above and beyond to ensure guests know the casino values their business and only wants to provide a positive experience while visiting.” Eagle Mountain offered both an apology and the opportunity to refund their tickets to any guests who attended the show.

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