All Articles Tagged "Bill Cosby"
Since Bill Cosby rape accusations resurfaced, many have wondered what will become of “The Cosby Show.” The television program had an exceptionally healthy syndication run, but many networks have pulled the reruns from their weekly line-ups in the wake of the scandal.
In their November cover story, Ebony examines the show’s legacy, which was single-handedly tarnished by Cosby, and explores what the future holds for the iconic television program. Goldie Taylor writes:
Debuting in September 1984, “The Cosby Show” was based on the stand-up comedy routines of Bill Cosby, already a celebrated Hollywood staple, and loosely mirrored his family life. For eight seasons on NBC—five of which it was the country’s most-watched program, according to Nielsen ratings—Cosby’s portrayal of Heathcliff Huxtable—a physician, loving husband and doting Black father-reinforced the widely held virtues of the nuclear family, if not also unwittingly illuminating the hazards of respectability politics (the notion that if Black people simply act “good” and “behave,” the world-at-large will treat them as such.)
Now, some three decades later, as Cosby stands accused of sexually assaulting at least 40 women, Black America is left to grapple with his once-unimpeachable legacy. If Bill Cosby is finished, what does that mean for Cliff, and the rest of the tribe called Huxtable?
While some find Ebony’s November cover to be brilliant and thought-provoking, others have slammed the publication and accused them tearing down the comedian and actor.
What are your thoughts on the cover?
On Tuesday (Oct. 13), Temple University’s 36-member board of trustees will vote on whether to replace Bill Cosby’s seat with NBC correspondent and Today show host Tamron Hall.
Cosby vacated the board in December 2014 following renewed allegations of sexually assaulting numerous women for nearly two decades.
Board chairman Patrick O’Connor spoke highly of the 1992 Temple graduate, saying that she has the support she needs for approval, according to The Associated Press. While Tamron hasn’t officially been named a board member, she snagged a cover feature on the current issue of Temple Magazine.
“I’m the girl who came to Temple never having seen Philadelphia,” Hall said in the feature. “This city gave me my soul. This university gave me my confidence.”
O’Connor described Hall as a “vibrant, loyal alum” who will add “a new dimension” to the board, which is looking to add more women to their roster with only three as of now.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played the role as Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show, has finally spoken out on the sexual allegations against Bill Cosby.
For almost two decades, Cosby has at the helm of several sexual assault allegations, claiming that he raped, facilitated drugs, and committed sexual battery and misconduct to nearly 54 different women, including Beverly Johnson and a Cosby Show actress.
To date, Mr. Cosby has been stripped of numerous honorary degrees from prestigious colleges and has five lawsuits pending against him regarding the aforementioned claims.
In a recent interview with The Associate Press, The Cosby Show alum said the legacy of the cherished series is “tarnished” by the sexual assault allegations made against Bill Cosby.
“My biggest concern is when it comes to images of people of color on television and film, no matter what … negative stereotypes of people of color, we’ve always had ‘The Cosby Show’ to hold up against that. And the fact that we no longer have that, that’s the thing that saddens me the most because in a few generations the Huxtables will have been just a fairy tale,” said Warner.
While he did confirm that he’s been in contact with Cosby, he did not comment on their conversations.
“I think the things that we discussed really have to stay private between us. But it’s just a bad situation all around – for him, for his family, the women, their families, the legacy of the show,” he added.
Warner isn’t the only Cosby Show alum to speak on Cosby’s allegations. Both Phylicia Rashad (who played Claire Huxtable) and Keshia Knight Pulliam (who played Rudy Huxtable) weighed in on the tough topic. Rashad’s sentiments were the same as Warner, voicing concern of the show’s legacy and how important it is for the culture. Pulliam simply offered that the allegations were “just allegations.”
While Cosby’s stage family isn’t too happy about how his actions lessen the legacy of The Cosby Show, they have certainly banded together and are standing behind him.
This summer was filled with back to back mind-blowing headlines. From political moves to police brutality and sex scandals, check out the summer’s top headline-grabbing stories.
While in New York City for his show at Caroline’s Comedy Club, which is this weekend, Damon Wayans stopped by Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club. During his chat with Charlamagne and the crew, the comedian—who celebrates his 55th birthday today— shared his opinions on the Bill Cosby rape scandal, and made questionable comments about the legendary comic’s accusers.
“Tell the truth. If I was him, I would divorce my wife *wink wink*, give her all of my money, then I would go through a deposition,” said Wayans. “I would light one of those three-hour cigars, [have some] wine and maybe a Quaalude, and I would just go off because I don’t believe he was raping [them], I think he was in relationships with all of them, and then he was like, ‘It’s 78, it don’t work no more. I can’t get it up for any of y’all. Bye b-tch-s.’ And then they were like, ‘Oh really? Rape!’”
The father of four went on to say that he finds it hard to believe that many of these women stayed silent for so long and even implied that some of the accusers weren’t attractive enough to be raped.
“I mean 40 years? How big is his penis that it gives you amnesia for 40 years?” he quipped. “But if you listen to them talk, they go, ‘Oh well, the first time.’ The first time? B-tch how many times did it happen? Just listen to what they’re saying. And some of them, really, is unrapeable. I look at them and go, ‘Nah, you don’t want that. Get out of here. Get up and get out of here.”
“I understand fame. I’ve lived it. Women will throw themselves at you. They just wanna be in your presence. Some will innocently come up there, but not 40 something women. They’re not that naïve. You’re telling me in 1965, he just walked into someone’s dressing room and put his penis in they mouth?”
Wayans also questioned why figures like Woody Allen and Stephen Collins who have been exposed for sexual misconduct haven’t been scrutinized in the manner that Cosby has been.
“You know what Cosby did wrong, he started criticizing young Black men, and he lost us. And they see that opening, so it’s like you know what? Attack him. But the dude from ‘7th Heaven,’ his show is still on TV. Woody Allen still making shows and movies. If it was my daughter, I would have killed Bill Cosby. But just sitting back looking at it, I just don’t believe it. I think it’s a money hustle.”
He later backtracked, and suggested that perhaps some of the women were being truthful with their accusations but maintained that at least some of the accusers were being dishonest.
“There may be some—and my heart goes out to them. If you were raped by Bill Cosby, I’m sorry, and I hope you get justice. You other b-tches… Look, ‘He gave me two pills,’ he wasn’t a doctor back then. They talking about he gave them two pills. That was the drug of choice like mollies is the drug of choice now. People do that to get in the mood. I can’t believe it.”
Wayans concluded by encouraging Cosby to come forward to share his side of the story.
“What’s the joy of banging someone who’s asleep?… Ain’t no charges against him, he’s innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “I want him to come out. I want to hear him say it. He’s articulate enough to just tell the truth. Have that conversation with Camille and tell her the truth. Then tell us the truth because this is not how your legacy should end.”
Remember, during the first few months, of what remains an on-going scandal with Bill Cosby, a Twitter account, allegedly belonging to Lisa Bonet, popped up. The account seemed to suggest that the truth cannot stay hidden for long. People ran with the tweets, assuming that they were in reference to Bill Cosby and that they were actually written by Lisa Bonet.
Later, a rep for the veteran actress confirmed that the person was not Bonet and that she didn’t have a Twitter account as all.
Still, we all wondered what Lisa Bonet had to say about the situation.
We got a general idea from her daughter Zoe Kravitz.
Kravitz recently spoke to The Guardian about her mother’s thoughts–or lack thereof– on the allegations. When they asked if Kravitz had discussed the rape allegations with her mother as he said, “She [Lisa Bonet] hasn’t, she really hasn’t. She’d plead the fifth, even to me. I think she’s just staying out of it.”
Though Bonet hasn’t come forward with an opinion to share publicly, Kravitz did say that her mother has some thoughts.
“She’s just as disgusted and concerned as everyone else is. But I don’t think she has any insight. It’s news to her as well.”
And while Kravitz could understand why people would wonder, she believes her mother would speak up if she had a valuable opinion to offer.
“She’s a very straightforward person. If there was something she felt the world needed to know that would help this case or help any women who had been abused, she would say something.”
— Joy Christian (@joy_christian1) July 27, 2015
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am having a hard time feeling sorry for Anna Duggar.
Okay, maybe I sympathize with her a little bit. After all, it is no easy task dealing with the reality that your husband – and pretty much your life – is a big fat lie.
If you haven’t read by now Josh Duggar, one of the “kid” stars of 19 Kids and Counting, is a bit of a freak. Oh, and a hypocrite.
It was discovered earlier this week that Duggar, who is the former executive director of the Family Research Council, a pro-traditional marriage lobbying group, is not only an admitted child molester (he confessed to molesting several of his younger sisters and other young girls back when he was a teenager), but he’s also a paid and active member of Ashley Madison, a dating service site for married people.
Someone using a credit card belonging to a Joshua J. Duggar, with a billing address that matches the home in Fayetteville, Arkansas owned by his grandmother Mary—a home that was consistently shown on their now-cancelled TV show, and in which Anna Duggar gave birth to her first child—paid a total of $986.76 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February of 2013 until May of 2015.
The website also reported that Duggar actually had two accounts with the site, which were linked to his home in Oxon Hill, Maryland, where he spent his time lobbying against causes like same-sex marriage.
Of course, none of this is surprising. The truth is, after years of watching conservative and fundamental religious folks fall on the very swords with which they try to smite others, you kind of expect it to happen – one day.
Still, every time one of these moral leaders get caught with their hands in the cookie jar (or eggplant patch), people want to victimize the wife. And in some instances, it makes sense. Women do not cause their husbands to go out and have affairs. That is old-timey sexist thinking. Likewise, abuse runs thick in some Christian fundamentalist circles. As noted by Libby Anne in this piece entitled “Anna Duggar and the Silencing Power of Forgiveness“:
Anna Duggar (Josh’s wife) is an example of what many women coming out of the Duggar’s fundamentalist Christian subculture go through. They get married young after a brief courtship. (Because of family pressure and perhaps a desperate need to get out of their parents’ home.) They don’t really know the person they are marrying, and they are too inexperienced (having no sex ed, previous boyfriends, or real-world experience) to recognize any red flags that might have risen by this point. They can’t use birth control (because sinful) so they start having children right away.
Anna now has three, with a fourth on the way. She is 26 years old. She was homeschooled her whole life and never went to college. She now claims that she knew when the courtship began that Josh was a child molester. But I very much doubt that Josh used those words — it is far more likely that he said he had “temptations” to which he “succumbed” but “God is good” and he has “asked for forgiveness.” And, in that culture, she would have had no choice but to accept that for face value, because to do otherwise would be to call Josh a liar and to doubt God’s ability to save. Now she’s found out the truth, she has a few more years of experience, and she’s more trapped than she’s ever been.
It is a salient point. But I also do not believe that Anna is as trapped and helpless as many other women who find themselves in her circumstances. For one, there is not a court in this land that would not award Anna Duggar handsomely if she decided to leave. But that’s the thing, isn’t it. If.
I know we don’t like to think about these things, but there is a very real possibility that Anna does not want to leave. And it has less to do with God’s supposed laws, but her own ego.
If she is trapped, it is by cognitive dissonance. The kind of cognitive dissonance which sees the inconsistencies in the belief system played out over and over again in her household but willfully turns a blind eye out of self-interest and preservation. The kind of cognitive dissonance which comes with creature comforts like fame, power, and prestige.
Sort of like Camille Cosby. As the sexual accusations swirled around her husband Bill, folks also wanted to see her as innocent in all of it. That was until she said this:
“We all followed the story of the article in the “Rolling Stone” concerning allegations of rape at the University of Virginia. The story was heart-breaking, but ultimately appears to be proved to be untrue. Many in the media were quick to link that story to stories about my husband – until that story unwound.
None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim. But the question should be asked – who is the victim?”
Then we were like, nope. And for many of us, that is when we realized that some women can be as willfully misogynistic as men. And that Camille was just as shrill as her husband…
I don’t want to totally discredit Anna or even Camille and other women like them as victims in all of this. But I also believe that their victimization is problematic. And in some respects, I see Anna as a co-conspirator. Particularly when she is dutifully standing beside Josh through all of his dangerous contradictions. (I make the distinction because we are all a bit contradictory.) She gives him cover. From the media. From their detractors. And from their followers. And from folks in the LGBTQ community. But, perhaps most detrimentally, from women just like herself.
Bill Cosby’s Attorney Says All Women That Are Sexually Assaulted Have A “Responsibility” To Immediately Report It
After unsealed court documents from Bill Cosby’s 2005 deposition were released the actor and comedian has been put through the ringer. Under oath, Cosby admits to drugging numerous women with the intent of having sex with them by giving them Quaaludes.
Since its release, The New York Daily News labeled him “America’s rapist,” Spelman College ended its endowed professorship with him, and New York Magazine created a compelling cover story covering the stories of 35 women who have publicly accused him of sexual assault.
Despite the criminalizing stories, Cosby is finally fighting back with attorney Monique Pressley. Widely acclaimed and seasoned in her profession, Monique specializes in complex civil litigation, new business incorporation and development, and church law issues. Pressley joined HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill to discuss the allegations being brought against her client.
In the 47-minute video, she explains why she took on the role of Bill’s attorney, saying that he should be entitled to a “good and capable defense.” Throughout the interview, she stands her ground, making it clear that her standpoint on the case is that of a lawyer: innocent until proven guilty.
Pressley’s reaction to the sexual allegations was that all women who are sexually assaulted have a “responsibility” to immediately report it to create evidence of the crime, further explaining that the justice system can’t work unless women report sexual assault promptly:
“I’m not speculating, I’m not thinking, I’m not opining… What I’m saying is women have responsibility. We have responsibility for our bodies, we have responsibility for our decisions, we have responsibilities for the ways we conduct ourselves… I’m not talking about these women, I’m saying all women have responsibility… If a woman is violated by a man, and does not report, for whatever reason… in a court of law, the entire situation will never be brought forward for purposes of justice.”
Watch the video below.
Many of us released groans and moans when Jill Scott stepped forward to tweet her support for Bill Cosby during the middle of firestorm where women were coming forward, all over the place, accusing Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them, over several decades.
Jill Scott, in many of our eyes is a woman’s woman. She’s sung and written so eloquently about our experiences that it seemed like when an issue, very particular to women, came up she would empathize with their issues. But that’s not what happened.
And after the deposition surfaced, where Cosby explained that he obtained Quaaludes to have sex (read: rape) women, Scott said that she could no longer defend him.
Still, yesterday during her interview with “The Breakfast Club,” Jill explained why she was initially so adamant about supporting him.
Charlemagne: You said being an artist and a Black man that is beloved is one of the most dangerous positions that you can be in, can you elaborate on that?
Jill: I remember the day when, I was in New Jersey, and I saw every kid with an Allen Iverson jersey. Every kid, everywhere. And I thought to myself, he’s in trouble. When you are looked past your skin and at your talent, when you looked past your skin and at what your bring to something that people love, that means you’re beloved, beyond the color of your skin, your race and all that.
And it was maybe a month later, he was on the cover of The Daily News, in Philadelphia, with his braids out and he was two shades darker on the cover. It was like they had vilified him that quick. Bringing a lot of light and attention to the prospect of a human being simply being a human being, coming from a Black man, is dangerous in my opinion.
Look at what happened to Michael Jackson, look at what happened to Kevin Clash, I’m talking about Elmo, how he was so beloved by everyone. I’m not trying to dismiss the fact that people have done some terrible, foul things, with the understanding that men all have proclivities. Rich ones, smart ones, dumb ones, backwoods ones, all men have proclivities. That just means something that’s natural to you that’s probably really bad.
But what I see is that our heroes–and please understand–I’m from North Philly, Bill Cosby is from North Philly. That man was like a father to me. He showed me everything about life that I did not see in North Philadelphia, not just because I watched the television shows, but I did watch them. I watched “The Cosby Show,” “Fat Albert,” “A Different World” made me want to go to college. ‘College, ain’t nobody around my way going to no college.’ I appreciate and respect that legacy, still that’s a man. And I’ve always been about that with fame and famous people.
But I felt the need to remember the Michael Jacksons, the Kevin Clashes and how people were really trying to destroy that legacy.
What’s the dude’s name? Phil Spector. He killed a woman, tried and convicted but he’s still in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If I’m not mistaken, Elvis liked ’em young. I’m not saying that this is right. I’m saying that all men have proclivities and I really feel that whatever is done to some, do to all. Don’t decimate the legacy of the good.
You’re trying to tell me that regardless of how much good I do in the world, if I do something bad, just something terrible, everything else gets pushed away.
The history and list of men with dirty, terrible things–and guess what, the more money you get, the more easily and more apt you are to the worst things because they’ve always been in you. If nobody’s helped you or guided you or stopped you.
Then Angela Yee asked what does she think should happen to Bill Cosby.
Charlemagne interrupts to say that the best thing for him to do would be to pass away.
So, Jill never got a chance to answer that question.
But she did continue
Jill: All I’m saying is that, looking at the big picture was the reason that I could not make any real decisions other than love. If it’s your father, if it’s your dad and 50-60, let’s say 100 people say something terrible about your father, the one that’s raised you, the one that’s been there, the one that took care of your skinned knees, and I’m not saying this because I saw the man on television. Bill Cosby has been good to me. He had his daughter drive to New York, to get something for my throat and I tore it up. I drank it everyday. It’s hard…
Charlemagne: You came out and said you had to stop defending him though.
It doesn’t look good. My mind is present. My heart did not want to believe anything negative about someone that I love and admire and respect so much but my mind is still present and I was like ‘Damnnit, there’s no way around this. It looks bad, it smells bad, it tastes bad.’
All I know is that I’m a human being and my love ain’t watery. And just cuz it got hot, it didn’t just jump and eviscerate and evaporate. People may not understand. You don’t understand I’m a person.
And this man…If I could explain all the people who died in North Philly, especially when I was growing up. If I could explain the differences between myself and, I felt like, so many other people. I felt very alone. And I saw someone, just making strides, knocking down doors… It was inspiring to me.
And I would hope that if the shoe was ever on the other foot, that something was being said about me that was terrible, horrible, vile and disgusting, I would hope that somebody who’s ever claimed to appreciate, love and respect me would be like ‘Wait, wait. I’m not jumping to anything. I’m going to hold tight.’
Other women on her thoughts on Bill Cosby
What I got from elder sister about the Bill Cosby situation, she said, ‘I don’t agree with you but you have the right to feel the way you do.’ Now, what the rest of the world didn’t know is at the same time, my father has dementia. So I’m losing my dad and I’m losing my dad…at the same time.
I’m not looking for anybody to feel sorry for me, I’m just saying that I am a person and there’s stuff that happens in the course of life that other people don’t understand.
As someone who had heard of Cosby’s sexual assault allegations in the past, there was no doubt in my mind that when these women started stepping forward again this year, there was a great deal of truth behind many, if not all of their stories. Still, it wasn’t a fact I took pride in. I wasn’t happy to be right about this one. I was disappointed in not only Bill Cosby but in the people who were so ready and willing to demonize the women who stepped forward to tell their story.
It was amazing to me that people who had never met or interacted Bill Cosby , and not Heathcliff Huxtable, were so willing to believe his complete lack of response over more than 40 women coming forward to say that he had violated them. It seemed that the only thing that made Bill more credible and reliable than these women were his celebrity status, the good work he had done for the community; when in actuality, one has little to do with the other.
And though I’ve been staunch and adamant about this guilt, I listened to Jill’s rationale and I understood it. This was someone who knew him personally. When she asked what Angela Yee would have done if it were her father being accused. And I agree with Jill, you can only love someone for what they’ve been to you. And for her, his impact and influence was huge. She didn’t stop loving him just because he had a history of being horrible and predatory, at the same time he was inspiring, giving back and uplifting. If many of us look over our own lives, we have someone like that in our lives as well.
But Yee’s question about punishment remains. And in their discussion, it’s unfortunate that more time was spent speaking about Bill Cosby’s legacy than there was time dedicated to the physical, emotional and psychological damage he perpetuated on these women, for decades. That’s a part of his legacy too. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Obviously he is a conflicted and hypocritical man. But a part of life is being held responsible for our actions. And if you love someone truly, you’ll want them to be held responsible as well. Since he might never serve time in jail, is it so unreasonable to remove a statue in his honor and cease to air the reruns from his decades-old television show? That’s the absolute least that could be done.
With that being said, Jill makes an impeccable point about what you do for one, do for all. There are far too many White men who haven’t had to pay as severely, or at all, for their shortcomings in the way that Black men often do.
You should definitely check out the entirety of Jill Scott’s interview. Y’all know she speaks the truth.
Penny For Your Thoughts: As A Spelmanite, I Have Mixed Feelings About The Way They Cut Ties With Bill Cosby
“Spelman thy name we praise” is not only the first line of Spelman’s school hymn, but it’s also a way of life. Rarely, if ever, will you hear alumnae from this historically Black college for women say a negative word about their alma mater. If anything, their feverish praise about having attended the school would likely come across as sounding too freakishly positive and damn near cultish. And, for nearly 20 years, I have been one of those only-has-freakishly-positive-things-to-say-about-her-experience Spelman grads (class of ’99).
Until now. When Spelman ended its Cosby professorship a few days ago (and, reportedly, returned the money associated with it), I wasn’t 100 percent supportive of the decision.
Alas, not being 100 percent supportive doesn’t mean that I’m not supportive. In fact, it’s my frustration about extremist reasoning and “black or white, either or, one way or the other” thinking that probably has me feeling conflicted in the first place. See, I’m privately ambivalent about Spelman College choosing to sever its relationship with the comedian because the decision implied that the school is no longer being publicly ambivalent about all the allegations surrounding Cosby.
By terminating the professorship affiliated with Bill Cosby, the Cosby-Spelman relationship went from being “on a break” to “breaking up.” After my alma mater put the professorship on hold last year, I thought it was a good call. The suspension showed a women’s college acknowledging the role that women’s rights and safety issues were playing in the changing perception of Cosby. It was a sensible and responsible reaction, without being overly reactionary, and it made a clear point by creating necessary distance from the actor and comedian without altogether alienating him. Suspending the relationship didn’t outright convey whether or not the school believed Cosby had committed any or all of the alleged behavior. It wasn’t a complete defense of “We support you–so let’s staunchly keep doing business as usual.” Nor was it an all out recoil of “We don’t support you–so take your money and shove it.” Rather, it said, “We don’t know if we support you or not, so let’s table this relationship for a while as everything is hashed out.” But now that the media reports a “termination” instead of a suspension, I’m still proud of my school, but somewhat disappointed about the decision.
Honestly, I was hoping that Spelman would hold fast with its “We don’t know if we support you or not” position. I interpreted their decision not to sever the Cosby-Spelman relationship as a powerful “We don’t know” stance. A strong show of ambivalence activism. In our opinionated times, where public uncertainty and delaying decisiveness is harshly criticized, I think we need more people on the ambivalence bandwagon.
Watching Bill Cosby’s fame turn into infamy, I certainly understand why people feel the way they do and why Spelman ceased its work with the Cosby endowment. Those New York Times-released deposition transcripts alone would make any woman want to take a few steps back from both the man and his name, if not 10 giant leaps. And whatever your social media stance on the matter (“unfriend me if you ____ Bill Cosby”), you can concede that while convictions from the court of public opinion aren’t the same as those in a real court, their lack of legality says nothing about their veracity or about how much they matter.
I’ll be frank: On the question of veracity, I’m tongue-tied. I avoid conversations about the whole Cosby mess because it has me neck high in uncertainty. I just don’t know. But I also know a few things about not knowing. I know that one shouldn’t need to know for sure that something happened in order to believe that it did; I know that there’s very little that anyone can really know without a shadow of a doubt; and I know that “I don’t know” is one of those phrases beyond which people hide their true beliefs. Still, “I don’t know” is my bottom line right now on the Cosby matter. And I really admired that my alma mater seemed to be saying “I don’t know,” too.
I don’t care where you stand on the Cosby matter or who you think did or didn’t do what to whom. You can acknowledge that the word imbroglio applies to the whole thing. Like I said before, it’s a mess. If it were a case on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Sgt. Olivia Benson would need a 100-episode story arc over multiple seasons just to declutter all the details. And Det. Elliot Stabler would have to come back to help her.
Now, I love me some Olivia Benson, but I’m a bigger fan of Spelman College than I’ll ever be of SVU. Still, I wish my dear beloved alma mater had held off on the urge to render its own resounding “Dunh! Dunh!” of the Law & Order gavel.