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phylicia rashad

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Phylicia Rashad has issued an apology after posting a celebratory tweet about Bill Cosby’s release from prison.

According to CNN, Rashad wrote an apology letter to the students of Howard University, where she serves as the dean of their college of fine arts.

“My remarks were in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault,” Rashad said. “I vehemently oppose sexual violence, find no excuse for such behavior, and I know that Howard University has a zero-tolerance policy toward interpersonal violence.”

In the letter, Rashad, who is also a Howard alumna, also promised “to engage in active listening and participate in trainings to not only reinforce University protocol and conduct, but also to learn how I can become a stronger ally to sexual assault survivors and everyone who has suffered at the hands of an abuser.”

After it was announced that Cosby was being released from prison due to his sexual assault conviction being overturned, his former Cosby Show co-star  was slammed after sharing that she was happy about his release.

“FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”, Rashad tweeted.

After being called out over her comments, Rashad changed her tone in a follow-up message.

“I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward,” Rashad later tweeted. “My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.”

Howard University, where Rashad was appointed as a dean of their college of fine arts, also issued a statement after her tweet caused controversy.

“Survivors of sexual assault will always be our first priority,” read their statement issued on Twitter. “While Dean Rashad has acknowledged in her follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, her initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault.”
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