George Lopez Walks Out on Comedy Show at California Casino

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Edward Scimia

Updated by Edward Scimia

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Last Updated 10th Jun 2024, 09:52 PM

George Lopez Walks Out on Comedy Show at California Casino

Comedian George Lopez, seen here in a November 2023 show at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Florida, is now in a dispute with the Eagle Mountain Casino in central California over the handling of unruly fans. (Image: imago/Alamy)

Comedian George Lopez walked out on a show at the Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville, California after a shore exchange with hecklers prompted him to stop his performance.

The shortened show has led to a war of words between Lopez and the casino, each of which has presented its own version of what went down at the Friday night show.

Casino: Lopez ‘Let Down His Fans’

Video acquired by TMZ shows Lopez issuing three warnings to at least one heckler in the crowd before addressing the audience. 

“Just f---ing watch the show, that’s all you have to do,” Lopez says in the video, addressing audience members who are commenting during his performance. Moments later, as the back-and-forth with audience members continues, Lopez walks off the stage.

Eagle Mountain Casino took to Facebook late that night to post about the incident.

“Tonight George Lopez let down his fans and sold out audience by walking out and ending his show 30 minutes early,” Eagle Mountain's post reads. “We had a pre-show meeting to have a plan in place for hecklers. He could have provided us an opportunity to allow our security and team to escort any hecklers out since his own private security did not.”

The casino noted that they had already rescheduled the show once, moving it from April 20 after Lopez had a medical emergency.

“Tonight we went above and beyond to provide George with first class service from his arrival to the property to the start of his show,” the post continued. “We never want to let our guests down and we are as disappointed and shocked as you are.”

Lopez Blames Casino Security for ‘Unsafe Environment’

Over the weekend, Lopez fired back with his own version of events. 

“It’s the venue of casino’s job to provide a good experience for both the artist and the fans, but the casino failed in this regard,” Lopez’s team said in a statement to TMZ

“The audience was overserved and unruly, and the casino staff was unable to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for the artist and guests.”

Lopez’s team also put the onus on the casino’s security, not their own, to handle the crowd. 

“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,” the statement read. “George is not obligated to perform in an unsafe environment.”

On Monday, Eagle Mountain issued an official statement, saying that “under the casino’s discretion,” it did not feel that guests were being unruly or creating an unsafe environment, a claim they say is backed up by surveillance footage. 

“While we did see guests yelling out, we see recordings showing those saying – we love you, can we buy you a drink, etc.,” Tiffani Sahagun, assistant general manager for Eagle Mountain, said in the statement. “We also know that at a comedy show, there are also likely some outbursts that casino security would have been happy to address had any issue been made known.”

Eagle Mountain Casino is operated by the Tule River Indian Tribe, and has been open since 1996. The casino initially opened on the Tule River Reservation, but was relocated to land adjacent to the Porterville Municipal Airport in 2023.

George Lopez is a stand-up comedian and actor who has started in multiple television shows, most notably the eponymous George Lopez, which aired on ABC from 2002 to 2007.

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Edward Scimia
Edward Scimia
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Ed Scimia is a freelance writer who has been covering the gaming industry since 2008. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2003 with degrees in Magazine Journalism and Political Science. In his time as a freelancer, Ed has worked for About.com, Gambling.com, and Covers.com, among other sites. He has also authored multiple books and enjoys curling competitively, which has led to him creating curling-related content for his YouTube channel "Chess on Ice."

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