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Billy Bob Thornton Cancels Tour After Comparing Canadians to Bland Mashed Potatoes

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In this photo taken Wednesday, March 18, 2009, Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters perform at the SXSW Music Festival Festival in Austin, Texas. In a radio appearance reminiscent of David's Letterman's interview with actor-turned-rapper Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Bob Thornton gave a puzzling and intentionally difficult interview Wednesday, April 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

Billy Bob Thornton's band has canceled the rest of its Canadian tour after the actor compared the country's fans to mashed potatoes with no gravy in a testy interview that caused a sensation online.

The Boxmasters opened for Willie Nelson on Thursday in Toronto, where they reportedly were booed and met with catcalls of "Here comes the gravy."

A note posted on Nelson's Web site Friday said the Boxmasters were canceling the rest of their Canadian dates "due to one band member and several of the crew having the flu."

The cancellation came two days after Thornton made world headlines with a belligerent appearance on CBC radio's "Q."

The actor apparently didn't like that host Jian Ghomeshi started the interview with references to Thornton's Hollywood career.

Thornton refused to answer many of Ghomeshi's questions directly, mumbling: "I don't know what you're talking about." He later said Ghomeshi's producers had been told ahead of time not to talk about his film career.

Thornton also had some unkind words for Canadian crowds.

"Canadian audiences seem to be very reserved," he told Ghomeshi. "We tend to play places where people throw things at each other. Here, they just sort of sit there. And it doesn't matter what you say to 'em. ... It's mashed potatoes but no gravy."

Before his Thursday night gig, Thornton tried to clarify those remarks, saying he loved Canada and his "mashed potatoes" comment had been aimed at Ghomeshi.

Media around the world delighted in the story. Entertainment Weekly's Web site ran the headline, "Billy Bob Thornton: What's his problem?"

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