In what may be one of the weirdest PR moves of all time, comedian and alleged rapist Bill Cosby has announced, via his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt, that he’s planning a series of “town hall”-style appearances across the country to address sexual assault prevention.
79-year-old Cosby recently walked free from a trial investigating one of over 100 claims of sexual assault leveled against him, allegations from over 100 women that span decades of the comic’s career. The trial, covering a 2004 incident in which accuser Andrea Constand claimed Cosby drugged and raped her in his Pennsylvania home, ended in a mistrial after the jury hit a deadlock, failing to reach a unanimous decision on Cosby’s fate.
When asked about Cosby’s post-trial plans on Good Day Alabama, spokesperson Wyatt gave the surprising response that the performer is planning a cross-country tour this July — but, rather than performing stand-up, Cosby will be educating America’s youth on sexual assault prevention. Said Wyatt:
“This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today, and they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing. And it also affects married men.”
While it’d be nice to assume Cosby has only the best of intentions, it’s a very strange move from someone whose innocence has yet to be determined, and who only just avoided jail time due to deadlock. Further, Wyatt’s description of the tour’s goals sound more like a way to teach men how not to get caught than facilitating thoughtful talks on gender and morality.
It’ll be interesting to see how these events change (or don’t change) the ever worsening public perception of the formerly beloved comic, but one thing’s for sure — he’ll definitely be back in court soon, facing a re-trial in the Constand case in addition to the dozens of other pending cases against him.