The producers behind “The Cosby Show” have weighed in on the controversy over the rape allegations levied by multiple women against Bill Cosby.
“The Bill we know was a brilliant and wonderful collaborator on a show that changed the landscape of television. These recent news reports are beyond our knowledge or comprehension,” Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner said in a statement Thursday.
The pair are the first prominent showbiz figures to speak out regarding the allegations from multiple women levied against Cosby.
Carsey and Werner built an independent production powerhouse, the Carsey-Werner Co., in the 1980s and ’90s on the strength of “Cosby Show’s” success on NBC in the 1980s. Werner had been attached to exec produce the NBC family comedy project that Cosby had been developing until the network pulled the plug on Wednesday. Carsey has been retired from the biz since 2005.
As the accusations against Cosby mount, there has been much discussion among industry insiders about how much Cosby associates knew about the alleged incidents, particularly for those in positions of authority. The statement from Carsey and Werner appears to be offering a measure of support to the embattled star as well as to assert that they had no knowledge of such alleged activities.
“The Cosby Show” cemented Cosby’s status as one of America’s best-lived entertainers. A week of nearly non-stop news coverage of three women recounting disturbing allegations of being drugged and raped by the comedian has already taken a huge toll on Cosby’s legacy.
Lawyers for the comedian have denied the charges as “discredited allegations” and in one case “a fabricated lie.” But Cosby himself has remained silent amid the storm.