It seems as though Bill Cosby and his spokespeople aren't exactly on the same page when it comes to the matter of the jaw-dropping "sexual assault tour" that was announced last week. On June 22 (five days after his sexual assault case was declared a mistrial), Cosby's team told "Good Morning Alabama" that the comedian planned to hold town halls to teach youth how to "avoid sexual assault allegations."
Needless to say, this news was unwelcome to sexual violence advocacy groups and decent human beings everywhere. "It would be more useful if Mr. Cosby would spend time talking with people about how not to commit sexual assault in the first place," RAINN spokeswoman Jodi Omear said.
Less than a week later, Cosby has backtracked on his summer plans in a major way and labeled the news as "propaganda."
Someone may want to alert all members of Cosby's team.
In addition to the hypocrisy and insensitivity of the sexual assault tour (the original description included victim-blaming language), it's worth reiterating that Cosby hasn't been cleared of wrongdoing in the case of Andrea Constand. The district attorney immediately announced his plans to retry the case.
Meanwhile, a California judge has set a July 2018 court date for Cosby to be tried in the case of Judith Huth, who says the comedian assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15 years old. (The statute of limitations doesn't apply in Huth's case due to her age at the time of the incident.)
As evidenced by the initial "sexual assault tour" announcement, Cosby's publicists viewed the mistrial as a major victory.
“We’re now planning town halls and we’re going to be coming to this city sometime in July… to talk to young people because this is bigger than Bill Cosby,” spokesman Andrew Wyatt said at the time. “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.”
In addition to today's "propaganda" tweet, one of Cosby's defense attorneys also spoke out about the tour. Angela Agrusa said she "can't imagine" Cosby's legal team would let him move forward with these speaking engagements while charges are still pending.
“He doesn’t take lightly these criminal charges,” Argusa stated. “He would never do anything that undermined the importance of this issue. I don’t see him speaking publicly like that.”