Bill Cosby Releases Statement, To Continue Tour Despite Cancellations
Bill Cosby reaffirmed his commitment to continuing his North American comedy tour this week, despite the growing chorus of protestors that have flocked in front of his shows.
Bill Cosby: “I’m Far From Finished”
Cosby’s comedy tour has attracted a lot of controversy in the wake of the over two dozen accounts from women accusing the comedian of sexual assault. Protestors have begun gathering outside his shows. In fact, at a show in Hamilton, Ont., on Jan. 9, a group of protestors had to be escorted out after chanting, “We believe the women!”
As Cosby’s tour embarks in the US, it was announced on Tuesday that Cosby’s scheduled Worcester, Mass., performance was canceled, and Ticketmaster is reportedly offering refunds for two shows in Denver. In response to the cancellation, Cosby released a statement on Thursday assuring fans that he would continue to carry on his North American comedy tour, saying, “I’m far from finished.” (“Hey, Hey, Hey – I’m Far From Finished” was the title of his 2013 comedy stand-up special.)
“Dear Fans: I have thousands of loyal, patient and courageous fans that are going to leave their homes to enjoy an evening of laughter and return home feeling wonderful. I’m ready! I thank you, the theatre staff, the event organizers and the Colorado Community for your continued support and coming to experience family, fun entertainment…Hey, Hey, Hey – I’m Far From Finished.”
NBC Chairman On Bill Cosby
Meanwhile, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt recently addressed the network’s decision not to go forward with a Cosby vehicle in light of the flood of allegations against Cosby, saying that the network would likely never work with Cosby again.
“Yeah, you know, 15 women came out and accused him of doing, you know, what they accused him of. And while, over the years, we’d heard some of those accusations, and we knew there were a couple of settlements and whatnot, it didn’t seem to be the sort of thing that was critical mass. And, you know, when we realized that there seemed to be so much more of it, it wasn’t something that we could just go, ‘Oh, we’re not sure,’” Greenblatt told reporters at Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour on Friday.
Greenblatt made clear that the decision to pull the project wasn’t meant to be taken as a sign that Cosby is definitely guilty, but admitted that the number of allegations against Cosby made the project impossible. “He hasn’t been sort of proven guilty of anything, so I don’t want to be the one that says, ‘Guilty until proven innocent.’ But when that many people come out and have similar complaints, it becomes such a tainted situation. You know, there was no way we could move forward with it,” Greenblatt said.
Greenblatt also mentioned Netflix’s decision to pull their Cosby stand-up special and TV Land’s choice to pull The Cosby Show reruns from air, saying, “We were developing a script that we never even got a first draft of. So it wasn’t something that was imminently going forward or even into production. I guess I can only say I’m glad we’re out from under that.”
Greenblatt was then asked to specify his assertion that NBC canceled the project once the accusers reached a “critical mas.” How many accusers, asked Daniel Fienberg, does it take to reach a “critical mass”?
“I guess what just happened two months ago,” Greenblatt answered.
When pressed – “So 15, yes? Two or three, no?” Greenblatt dodged the question: “All I can tell you is there’s a lot of people who’ve been in business with Cosby for 25 years, and go ask them the same question. I just answered what I can answer. I didn’t think it was a problem until it became critical.”
When asked if NBC would ever consider working with Cosby, Greenblatt stated, “I think it’s safe to say [we won’t work with Cosby again.]”
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