Speaking at a Television Critics Association meeting Friday, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt offered his first public accounting of why the network waited until November to nix its proposed Bill Cosby sitcom.
During a question-and-answer session, BuzzFeed’s Jarett Wieselman asked Greenblatt why the network backed the sitcom throughout the summer and fall of 2014, while sexual assault accusations continued to mount against the star comedian.
As Buzzfeed reported:
“Yeah, you know, 15 women came out and accused him of doing, you know, what they accused him of,” Greenblatt replied. “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.’ I mean, look … 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 continued, mentioning that Netflix also had to pull its Cosby stand-up special that was meant to air in November, and that TV Land yanked its reruns of The Cosby Show as well. “We were developing a script that we never even got a first draft of,” he said. “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.”