Jay Leno addresses Bill Cosby allegations, congratulates Larry Wilmore
Jay Leno spoke enthusiastically about the state of the comedy industry during a Q&A session on Wednesday at the National Association of Television Program Executives conference. But the conversation took on a serious tone when Leno voiced his opinions regarding the Bill Cosby controversy.
When the topic arose, Leno told moderator Tom Papa, “I don’t know why it’s so hard to believe women. You to go Saudi Arabia and you need two women to testify against a man. Here you need 25.”
Leno said the scandal, which began in October 2014 with a video of comedian Hannibal Buress calling Cosby a rapist during a stand-up set, was an example of how unfiltered information is spread these days.
After the video went viral, women who had once accused Cosby of assault as well as women who had not previously spoken out came forward.
Leno said it was a good thing that the “flat-out statement” made by Buress “reverberated around the world.” He also noted that on any other media platform, that remark would have been edited.
But Leno is by no means the first comedian to voice an opinion on the allegations against Cosby. Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made the controversy part of their opening monologue at this year’s Golden Globes, and comedian/director Judd Apatow said he “absolutely would like to see [Cosby] in jail” or “at the very least, go in [his] mansion and disappear for the rest of [his] life.”
During a lighter note in the Q&A, Leno described comedian Larry Wilmore’s new late-night show, The Nightly Show on Comedy Central, as “terrific.” “Wilmore brings a different perspective,” Leno said.
Wilmore himself has also commented on the controversy, calling Cosby guilty during the second episode of The Nightly Show.