Hollywood director and producer Judd Apatow has arguably been the most outspoken celebrity critic of embattled comedian Bill Cosby. For weeks Apatow has chastised venues for hosting Cosby and people on social media for defending him. Now the filmmaker is speaking out about why he won’t stay silent on allegations of sexual assault and drugging that have been lodged at the comedy legend.
“I can understand why someone would say, ‘Why does Judd care about this?’ I don’t know, I have two daughters. I’m a comedian. I see him a little bit as our comedy dad. It’s like finding out your comedy dad is a really evil guy,” Apatow told fellow comic Marc Maron on his popular “WTF” podcast.
“If everybody was talking about it, I probably wouldn’t have much to say about it. But I don’t want it to suddenly disappear and then he kind of just goes back out on the road and does his thing,” Apatow added.
Apatow’s remarks come in the wake of pointed barbs made at Cosby’s expense on Sunday’s Golden Globes telecast, where hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey impersonated the 77-year-old and joked about him “putting the pills in the people.”
Cosby has never been charged with a crime and through lawyers has denied allegations of sexual assault in the past. Attorney Marty Singer has called the mounting accusations against Cosby “unsubstantiated” and “fantastical.”
Still, the controversy has cost Cosby a Netflix special and a planned return to sitcoms. It has also led to protests and hecklers at his recent stand-up performances. Although Cosby has declined to speak publicly about the allegations, he did joke about them at a performance last week in Ontario. When a female audience member got up during the show to get a beverage and asked the comedian if he wanted one, several witnesses claim Cosby said, “You have to be careful about drinking around me.”
Several women, including former supermodel Beverly Johnson, have claimed that Cosby drugged them in sexually inappropriate encounters.
Meanwhile, Apatow has received some backlash to his comments disparaging Cosby. Kenya Barris, the creator of the ABC comedy “Blackish,” chided Apatow for being “strangely obsessive” about the Cosby allegations. “@JuddApatow - dude. Enough. Not defending him AT ALL, but u do realize this borders on strangely obsessive, right? Where was ur#EricGarner,” he tweeted on Dec. 30.
Still, the “Knocked Up” director is showing no signs of backing down. “One thing that I do know is I’m not comfortable with him running around the country doing stand-up like nothing’s happening,” Apatow told Maron. “I guess, on some level, I feel like I can’t be a part of solving that many problems in the world – I do my best to get involved where I can be effective.”