Bill Cosby Talks Sexual Abuse Claims On 'Good Morning America' & His Statements Are Disconcertingly Vague
During a Good Morning America interview that aired Friday morning, Bill Cosby spoke out about the sexual abuse allegations that have been brought against him by over 30 women. The comedian sat down with reporter Linsey Davis, ostensibly to promote his work with the Black Belt Foundation (which seeks to improve education for students living in low income areas of Alabama), but the conversation turned to the allegations the 77-year-old comedian has faced over the last 10 years.
When asked about the claims made against him, Cosby replied, "I have been in this business over 52 years and I have never seen anything like this. Reality is the situation. And I can't speak."
Cosby kept his statements rather vague throughout the interview, and it appears as if he finds the situation shocking. His response is utterly disappointing considering the severity of the allegations. It sounds like he is only concerned with the effect this has had on him rather than on the women who brought the claims forward.
Cosby's lawyers have previously released statements in regards to the claims, including one from November which reads,
Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.
When asked what he would do if a young person came up to him and pressed him for answers, Cosby's response brought even less clarity. Again, his answer seemed to be based around his denial of the situation at large rather than the actual claims:
I am prepared to tell this young person the truth about life. I’m not sure that they will come [ask me directly about claims] like that. I think that many of them say, "Well, you’re a hypocrite. You say one thing, you say the other. My point is — okay, listen to me carefully. I’m telling you where the road is out. I’m telling you where, as you’re driving, you’re going to go into water and it looks like it might only be three inches deep, but you and your car are going to go down. Now, you want to go here, or you want to be concerned about who’s giving you the message?
It sounds like Cosby is trying to say that for someone to be influenced by the good he's done, they don't need to worry about his alleged bad actions — which is a strong statement to make and one that many people will likely find issue with. Separating two parts of a person (especially when the bad they're accused of doing is so horrific) is a hard thing to do. Additionally, his doubt that someone would ask him about the claims directly ("I'm not sure that they will come like that") shows his arrogance.
Clearly, Cosby is unwilling to address the claims in any direct manner and this, combined with his focus on the situation rather than the actual claims, is unnerving. Time will tell if he ends up speaking out again, but based on how things have gone so far, if he does, he won't be saying much.