The producing duo behind two of Bill Cosby‘s most successful sitcoms are speaking about the comedian, who continues to be dogged by accusations that he drugged and assaulted women early in his career.
“The Bill we know was a brilliant and wonderful collaborator on a show that changed the landscape of television,” Tom Werner and Marcy Carsey said in a statement Thursday. “These recent news reports are beyond our knowledge or comprehension.”
The Carsey-Werner Co. was one of the most prolific production companies in TV history – and owes a lot of its success to Cosby, whom the two approached in the late ’80s about doing a family sitcom.
At the time, Cosby was working as a standup and doing voiceover work for the cartoon Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Though the original idea was to have Cosby serve as the patriarch of a blue-collar family, he suggested making the Huxtables more affluent, so his character, Cliff, became a doctor while his wife, Clair (Phylicia Rashad), was a lawyer. That change to the sitcom went on to break stereotypes about African Americans.
Other than Raven-Symoné – who took to social media Wednesday to deny that Cosby ever “took advantage” of her – none of the comedian’s former sitcom colleagues have come forward to support him.
The closest one celebrity has come to speaking on his behalf is Roseanne Barr – whose successful comedy Roseanne was also produced by Carsey-Werner. She used her Twitter feed to reflect on their relationship and what she thought of him.
“I’ve spoken to Dr. Cosby on the phone many times,” she Tweeted. “Sometimes I appreciated his advice, other times, I didn’t. He knew the score and understood the game.”
She Tweeted that “many serial Rapists R dissociative [people] who move in/out of awareness of their behavior. In no way is this an excuse 4 predatory behavior, though.”
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