Bill Cosby stayed silent during an interview segment that aired on NPR’s Weekend Edition when asked by interviewer Scott Simon about sexual allegations that have recently created a PR nightmare for the 77-year-old comedian.
The interview, which featured Cosby and his wife, was to tell of the Cosbys loaning of several priceless works to the National Museum of Africa Art. Simon approached the subject of the recent allegations as a matter of journalistic necessity, and as an opportunity for Cosby to address his millions of adoring fans.
“This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby, but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days. There are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this — I want to give you the chance.”
According to the Washington Post, Cosby merely sat silently and shook his head “no” at Simon’s several attempts to procure a response, at which point Simon politely, if abruptly, ended the interview. Simon thanked the couple, at which time only Cosby’s wife responded with a terse, “thanks.”
Cosby’s PR slide began when stand-up comic Hannibal Buress challenged Cosby’s perceived moral superiority by referring to him in a bit during a live show as a “rapist” and alleged victim Barbara Bowman’s op-ed piece in the Washington Post, whereby she alleges that Cosby drugged and then raped her. She called upon those who condoned the behavior to face justice.
Subsequently, Cosby has declined previously booked appearances on The Queen Latifa Show and the Late Show with David Letterman. After the scandal went viral, Cosby took to Twitter, asking internet users to make him into a meme, a move which backfired. His Twitter feed soon became flooded with images of Cosby mocking the allegations.
Soon after the interview aired on the Sunday, November 16, 2014 edition of Weekend Edition, Cosby’s lawyer, John P. Schmitt, posted the following statement to Cosby’s website.
“Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.”