The top entertainment executive of NBC said on Friday that Bill Cosby is no longer welcome on its airwaves. Cosby won the hearts of Americans on NBC with his portrayal of lovable father Dr. Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show. Despite the success brought to NBC by Cosby during the long run of his eponymous show, Bob Greenblatt vowed that the network would not work with the disgraced comedian again.
Cosby, 77, has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women in recent months. He faces two lawsuits and is currently under investigation by the Los Angeles police after a woman came forward earlier in the week to say that she, too, had been abused by Cosby during a party at the Playboy Mansion in 2008. His attorney, Martin Singer, claims that his client was nowhere near Los Angeles on the night in question, and is vowing to produce evidence to prove that he was, in fact, in New York.
In the middle of last year, NBC announced plans to create another family-oriented sitcom with Cosby in the starring role. After multiple accusations that he had drugged women for the purpose of sexually assaulting them arose late last year, NBC ceased development of the new show.
While fielding questions at an event for the Television Critics Association, Greenblatt was asked why the network had only now decided to quit working with their former star, who had been accused of the same behavior by two women ten years ago. The executive said that the sheer number of women (15) who were now accusing him of assault created “a tainted situation,” even though the sitcom star has not been found guilty of any charges. NBC made the decision to sever ties with their former star in order to distance themselves from the accusation.
In addition to NBC, the embattled comedian has lost other opportunities due to the accusations. A comedy special which was to have aired on Netflix has been postponed indefinitely. The actor, who is currently on tour performing stand-up, is facing multiple cancellations of dates that had been previously scheduled. He is slated to give two performances in Denver on Saturday and made a joke about allegations that he put drugs in the drinks of women during a recent stand-up show in Canada.
His first Colorado show took place on Friday at Memorial Hall in Pueblo. Approximately two dozen protesters are reported to have shown up outside of the venue, but they were greatly outnumbered by the hundreds of fans who arrived to watch Cosby perform.
One person who is not shying away from the disgraced comedian is Donald Trump, whose opening episode of this season of The Celebrity Apprentice was not pulled, even though Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played one of the daughters on The Cosby Show, was fired for refusing to call on Cosby when she needed assistance for her charity. Although the episode seemed ill-timed, Trump expressed pleasure at the unedited airing, saying that “It became a very, very big topic of conversation.”
Cosby denies having assaulted the women and has not been charged with any crimes in connection to the accusations. A civil suit against him which alleged that he had beaten and assaulted a woman was settled by the comedian in 2005.
By Jennifer Pfalz
Photo by Penn State cropped for size – License