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How Inside Amy Schumer Pulled Off the Perfect Cosby Sketch

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Inside Amy Schumer continued its streak of much-praised satire Tuesday night with a sketch that condemned not only Bill Cosby for his alleged sexual assaults, but also those who use fond memories of his persona to avoid denouncing him.

“I think at some point between the 30th and 100th woman coming out and saying they’d been raped by Cosby, it felt like something we wanted to talk about on the show,” the show’s head writer Jessi Klein said in an emailed statement to TIME. “We also couldn’t believe how many people were still reluctant to believe that these accusations could be true. It would be one thing to say you’re not sure, but it felt like a lot of voices were just adamant it wasn’t possible.”

In November 2014, attorney Martin Singer released a statement saying that claims against the comedian “about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous.” Cosby has maintained that the allegations of rape and sexual assault are untrue.

The sketch eviscerates the idea that Cosby should somehow get a pass because of his beloved television show. Schumer played a lawyer for Cosby in the “court of public opinion,” buttering up the jury with dancing, pudding pops and sweaters.

During an April Tribeca Film Festival panel, Schumer teased that the show would take on Cosby and said that the sketch was the subject of “heated debates” in the writer’s room. Though during the panel Schumer discussed an early “support group” idea, the “court of public opinion” concept allowed the show to reflect on a topic that keeps recurring: how the public reacts when someone who created a beloved piece of entertainment is accused of doing a horrible thing.

“The court of public opinion idea just felt like the most accurate reflection of the debate that was going on, both because there most likely won’t be a real trial, and also because so many of Cosby’s defenders really seemed to be basing their opinion on nothing more than their emotional attachment to his fictional Dr. Huxtable persona,” Klein said. “It’s the same debate you see around Woody Allen and Michael Jackson. People feel like there’s an all or nothing embrace to be made of a person and their work. But if you had to like the people who are making your favorite movies and shows in order to keep watching them, you’d probably end up staring at a blank wall. There are a lot of assholes in entertainment.”


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