Bill Cosby, the end of a comedic era
By Araidiah Gibbons
Bill Cosby is famously known for playing Dr Huxtable from the iconic Tv series that bears his name, The Cosby Show. Cosby co-produced the series with Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner that ran from 1984-1992. From the first episode that aired, the sitcom was an immediate hit within America and throughout syndication.
The black community embraced the sitcom and easily identified with the content of each episode. The Cosby Show portrayed positive images of the modern black family that dispelled the stereotypes that the world had bestowed on them.
Bill Cosby started stand-up comedy in 1961 and he first appeared at The Gaslight Cafe in Manhattan, New York. He later went on to book shows in Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Washington DC.
In 1963 Cosby’s big break came when he appeared on NBC’s The Tonight Show. The national exposure helped to parlay Cosby’s comedic talents into a contract with Warner Bros Records. In 1964, the comedian released multiple comedic records that made him a household name.
In that same year, Cosby made Spin Magazine’s list of the 40 greatest comedy albums of All Time. His album To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept, was number 1 on that list. Spin Magazine called it a stand-up masterpiece.
In October 2014, comedian Hannibal Buress went viral with a video alleging Cosby had taken part in sexually assaulting numerous women from 1985-2008. The allegations stretched across 10 USA states and one Canadian province.
Bill Cosby would continue to deny those allegations until he was found guilty in April 2018. Cosby’s conviction was a shock to the black community that left many feeling saddened and betrayed.
The world has come to a divide on how it feels about Bill Cosby and should he be the latest subject of cancel culture. If he is cancelled, it will be impossible for him to regain his already tarnished public image or have a meaningful career after his incarceration.
Cosby’s actions are unforgivable and will not be forgotten by those directly affected by his allegations of unwanted sexual advances. His portrayal of Dr Huxtable is forever tainted as many can not separate that lovable character from the man accused of sexual assault.
Phylicia Rashad played Clair Huxtable, Bill Cosby’s TV wife was overjoyed by his release and was condemned by the public for her opinion. In her moment of jubilation, she tweeted, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”.
Rashard’s tweet in a show of support for Cosby made her an instant target of cancel culture. Several members of the community went as far as demanding her deanship at Howard University be revoked. Her tweet has been deleted and followed by a letter of apology.
“I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. 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.” Bill Cosby came to her defence and told Howard University that they must support her Freedom of Speech.
What does the world have in store for Bill Cosby and will he ever act again? The short answer is he will most likely not! Bill Cosby will likely step away from the spotlight and enjoy his time with his family and friends.
Image from Cosby Wikipedia page & Cosby Show