Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show) was the first celebrity who was fired last night on The Celebrity Apprentice. She was fired by host, Donald Trump, because she refused to call up Bill Cosby and ask him for some money to fund a charity. The episode was filmed before allegations came out against Cosby by several women who claim that he raped them.
Keshia Knight Pulliam, 35, has stated that the reason she refused to ask Bill Cosby, 77, for money was she thought it would be “tacky” to ask him that after she had not even spoke to him in five years except for Cosby show events. Pulliam did not “feel that’s not my place to do,” and she did not “feel it was necessary” to phone him to fulfill the challenge, as her team’s other donors had already contributed enough money.
The actress has since gone on record to voice her support of Bill Cosby. On Access Hollywood Live, Keshia Knight Pulliam talked about “the legacy he’s built over the last 50 years.”
Despite the more than 20 women who have surfaced saying that Bill Cosby raped them, Keshia Knight Pulliam knew a different Cosby, the own she grew up acting opposite on The Cosby Show. She has not said that the women are lying, but she has stated that that she “wasn’t there,” so she “can’t speak to that.” She added that “we’re still in America, and you’re innocent until proven guilty of any crimes.”
The Bill Cosby that Keshia Knight Pulliam remembers is a person who was “awesome,” and “made jokes with me to make me remember my lines.” She credits him with being the person who gave her the inspiration “to be such an entrepreneur.” She still feels that “legacy” today.
Pulliam said that she is “to the forefront” regarding her stance on “women’s issues.” Her charity camp, according to the actress, is very much concerned with promoting self-esteem and empowerment in women. Still, when it comes to the matter of the allegations against Bill Cosby, she does not see any sort of a contradiction. She stated that she believes “in due process and fair being fair.”
Donald Trump has explained his reason for firing her in writing, saying that Keshia Knight Pulliam should have called Bill Cosby, because the show was filmed before “the terrible Bill Cosby revelations came to light,” and any money Pulliam might have gotten from the comedian would have gone to charity.
The Celebrity Apprentice elimination of Keshia Knight Pulliam has caused a lot of controversy, in particular in light of the allegations that have come out about Bill Cosby since the episode was filmed. Pulliam has defended her refusal to not call Bill Cosby and ask him for a contribution, but she was still the first person fired on Sunday, January 4, 2014.
Besides the controversy that her being the first celebrity who was fired has stirred up, her defense of Bill Cosby has resulted in even more controversy. She has said that she still admires the good things that Bill Cosby has done, and the kind way he treated her, on The Cosby Show. Cosby was, and is, an inspiration to her, and she does not see any conflict between her desire to promote women’s issues and her support of Bill Cosby.
Written By: Douglas Cobb