Keshia Knight Pulliam’s Bill Cosby Refusal Gets Her Fired From ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

Last night, Keshia Knight Pulliam found out that the biggest villain on Celebrity Apprentice is never a fellow celebrity — Donald Trump’s awfulness always trumps any competitor’s bad behavior.

According to Vulture, The Donald did nothing to improve his image last night on the Celebrity Apprentice season premiere. The first competitor to be eliminated was actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, who is best known for playing Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show. In a cringe-worthy twist, Bill Cosby played a part in Keshia Knight’s firing.

The Celebrity Apprentice contestants were split up into two teams for a bake sale challenge. Part of the challenge involved reaching out to rich friends and begging for donations, so naturally Pulliam’s teammates expected her to call Bill Cosby. However, she refused to do this.

It’s important to point out that this episode of Celebrity Apprentice was filmed a year before the Bill Cosby rape allegations ruined the comedian’s reputation. Had the media been all abuzz about the rape allegations when the episode was filmed, it seems unlikely that Keshia Knight Pulliam would have felt any pressure to call Cosby.

However, that was then. Pulliam uncomfortably explained that she didn’t want to bother Bill, opting instead to reach out to “people I felt can deliver the quickest.” Her team lost the challenge, and Donald Trump blamed her decision not to call Cosby on their loss.

“Did you call Bill?” Donald asked a tearful Keshia Knight.

She told him that she did not, explaining that she hadn’t talked to Cosby on the phone in years.

“For me to pick up the phone, having not talked to you for five years, except for when we run into each other for a Cosby event — I feel that’s not my place to do.”

This explanation didn’t satisfy Donald Trump, so Keshia Knight Pulliam was promptly fired.

Vulture pointed out why her firing was so disturbing.

“In light of everything we’ve heard in the past few months, it’s kind of insane to have an extended sequence where a female acquaintance of Bill Cosby gets fired from a job because she didn’t beg Cosby to help her get ahead.”

Of course, it’s possible that Keshia Knight Pulliam’s decision not to call Bill Cosby had nothing to do with the way he treats women. Maybe she was afraid that he would react negatively to her request for a handout, or maybe she knew her old TV dad well enough to know that he would just say no to her.

Here’s a fun conspiracy theory: Maybe Donald Trump fired Keshia Knight Pulliam because she didn’t make Bill Cosby look bad by asking for his help and getting turned down. After all, Trump isn’t the biggest Bill Cosby fan. According to TMZ, Cosby hurt Donald’s feelings in 2011 when he said that the Celebrity Apprentice star should either “run or shut up” in reference to Trump’s presidential aspirations. Trump fired back by criticizing Cosby for “talking down to the people he’s talking to and purportedly trying to help.”

In case you’re curious, Trump thinks Bill Cosby is a guilty man.

“I think he’s probably guilty,” Trump told FOX 5 DC. “I think his defense has been horrible because he keeps going– nothing, I’m not going to talk. When a person doesn’t talk, that usually doesn’t mean good things.”

Do you think Donald Trump owes Keshia Knight Pulliam an apology? You can check out her firing below.

[Image credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN via BET]

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