Despite the controversy roiling around Bill Cosby, his live show Friday in Florida is a go. And it’s sold out.
In the last few days, Cosby has lost his planned NBC comedy, his upcoming Netflix special and other projects amid accusations by a growing number of women who say he raped them. And video released Wednesday night shows the comedian asking an Associated Press interviewer not to show his reaction to the claims.
On Friday, however, Cosby is scheduled to play the 2,016-seat Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts at Eastern Florida State College in Brevard County. That concert precedes his planned Nov. 28 date in Las Vegas at the Treasure Island hotel and casino.
"The show is still on," said a spokesperson for the King Center.
The concert will mark Cosby's first public appearance since the firestorm over the allegations erupted. He has repeatedly denied the accusations, and his attorney said he would not comment on them.
Whether the comedian will address the allegations during his Florida concert is uncertain. But the date, one engagement on his "Far From Finished" tour, now has added significance.
Meanwhile, newly released video clips from AP’s Nov. 6 interview with Cosby show the comedian trying to control the story. The interview, conducted before the allegations reached a boil, largely focused on other matters.
When the interviewer brings up the allegations, Cosby, sitting beside his wife, interjects, “No, no, we don’t answer that.”
Asked whether he wanted to respond to whether any of the allegations were true, the comedian replies, “There’s no response.” The interviewer broaches the topic once more, and Cosby says haltingly, “There is no comment about that, and I’ll tell you why. I think you were told — I don’t want to compromise your integrity, but I don't, we don’t, talk about it.”
Later, as the interview concludes, Cosby — still wearing a microphone — requests that the portion regarding the allegations be “scuttled.”
“I think if you want to consider yourself to be serious, that it will not appear anywhere,” he says, adding, “We thought that AP had the integrity to not ask” about the topic.
The interviewer acknowledges Cosby’s request but does not promise to withhold that part of the interview.
A Cosby representative in the room, whose face does not appear on camera, says he had already told another AP reporter that Cosby and his team would not address the allegations.
Cosby tells the representative to follow up with AP: “I think you need to get on the phone with his person immediately,” he says, indicating the interviewer.
The news service decided to post video of the exchanges after additional women came forward with similar abuse allegations.
Meanwhile, Centric, a spinoff channel of BET targeted at African Americans, is continuing to air reruns of "The Cosby Show." The series airs regularly on weekdays at 2 p.m., as well as at other times.
The channel has also scheduled a weekend marathon of "The Cosby Show" launching at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Centric may be the last media venue to maintain ties with Cosby. Cable network TV Land said Wednesday that it has removed "The Cosby Show" from its schedule.