Bill Cosby Producer Breaks Silence: "The Legacy of the Show Is Very Important to Me"
"Obviously it’s a challenging time... but I’m hoping that people will still be able to watch the show and identify with the Huxtables."
Bill Cosby's longtime producer has weighed in on the disgraced star and his legacy in light of the dozens of rape allegations levied against Cosby over the last year.
After promoting his Starz series Survivor's Remorse at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Friday, Tom Werner spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, brushing off talk of Cosby specifically but emphasizing that The Cosby Show remains important to him.
"I don’t really want to comment on it," Werner told THR, when asked about Cosby. "The legacy of the show is obviously very important to me because the show was a groundbreaking show and it portrayed a middle-class African-American family in a very positive way. It had a lot of stories that resonated with families because people watched it together. Obviously it’s a challenging time for Bill Cosby and a challenging time for the show, but I’m hoping that people will still be able to watch the show and identify with the Huxtables."
Along with partner Marcy Carsey, Werner worked with Cosby on both The Cosby Show and the shorter-lived Cosby under their independent sitcom factory Carsey-Werner. The duo have remained quiet about the scandal for better part of the last year, though they did release a statement last November. “The Bill we know was a brilliant and wonderful collaborator on a show that changed the landscape of television," they said at the time. "These recent news reports are beyond our knowledge or comprehension."
The case against Cosby has grown considerably since then. And The Cosby Show's legacy, at least at the moment, does not look particularly salvageable. TV Land and BET Centric both yanked repeats in light of the scandal — Bounce TV similarly axed Cosby airings — though the series has yet to be removed from streaming services.