NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt spoke publicly for the first time about the decision to scrap the planned comedy with Bill Cosby. During his executive session at the TCA winter press tour Friday, Greenblatt said the high number of rape allegations directed toward Cosby compelled him to scrap the project.
“Fifteen women came out and accused him of what they accused him of,” Greenblatt said in response to a question about why NBC stopped development on the project. “We’d heard some of those accusations and we knew there were a couple of settlements and what not. It didn’t seem to be the sort of thing that was critical mass. When we realized that there seemed to be so much more of it, it wasn’t something where we could be like ‘Oh, we’re not sure.’” Saying he didn’t “want to be the one that says guilty until proven innocent,” he added, “But when that many people come out and have similar complaints and it becomes such a tainted situation, there was just no way to go forward.”
A first draft of the script was never delivered on the project.
When one reporter asked how many allegations it took to reach critical mass, Greenblatt responded, echoing part of the question “Yeah, you want me to put a number on it? Fifteen yes, two no.” As the back-and-forth continued, Greenblatt said, “All I can tell you is there’s a lot of people who have been in business with Cosby for 25 years, and go ask them the same question. I just answered what I could answer. I didn’t think it was a problem until it became, you know, critical.”