Former Cosby Show Alum Keshia Knight Pulliam was the first contestant fired by Donald Trump on Sunday’s new season of Celebrity Apprentice, after she refused to reach out to comedian Bill Cosby to request a charitable donation on behalf of her team.
On the episode, which was recorded well in advance of allegations of sexual assault against Cosby, the former Rudy Huxtable’s all-female team was slated to sell pies to raise money for her charity, Kamp Kizzy.
After a suggestion that she reach out to Cosby for help, Pulliam refused, instead insisting that she had other resources.
The board discussed her decision after she was only able to raise a menial “$7,000 or $8,000,” and she was grilled by both Trump and Piers Morgan.
“There is resources and resources, if you’ve got Bill Cosby and you worked with him and you haven’t fought it out with him, there is no harm in putting a call in and saying, ‘for charity, Bill,'” Morgan said.
Pulliam maintained that her time on the Cosby Show taught her “the importance of philanthropy and giving back to others.” However, she defended her refusal to contact Bill for help on the project.
“I have not talked to Bill Cosby on the phone in I don’t know how long,” she explained. “For me to pick up the phone having not talked to you for five years, except for when we run into each other for a Cosby event, I feel that’s not my place to do.”
That was enough for “The Donald,” who decided Pulliam’s refusal to contact Cosby was detrimental to her team’s success. “You are an amazing person, but you were the project manager. You didn’t make one call that I really believe that if you’d called that gentleman he would have helped you, even if you hadn’t spoken to him in years,” he said.
“You were an amazing team with one of the most successful shows ever, so I think it would have been a good call to make for charity,” Trump added. “You have to take responsibility.”
Trump took to Twitter after the show aired Sunday night to explain further:
This show was taped just before the terrible Bill Cosby revelations came to light.She still should have asked him for money-goes to charity.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2015