Bill Cosby’s reputation was probably the most damaged entity on American soil during the year 2014. He went from being America’s Dad to the man who got away. As the scandal has unfolded, the public has waited to see what Cosby’s old buddies and castmates had to say about the comedian.
One person who was very close to Cosby over the years was Malcolm Jamal-Warner, who played Cosby’s son Theo Huxtable over 25 years ago. After winning his first Grammy nomination, Malcolm was cornered and asked what he thought about the allegations against his old co-worker.
“He’s one of my mentors, and he’s been very influential and played a big role in my life as a friend and mentor,” Warner told Billboard. “Just as it’s painful to hear any woman talk about sexual assault, whether true or not, it’s just as painful to watch my friend and mentor go through this.”
This was a pretty diplomatic statement by Warner, but appears to be one in which he is supporting his friend despite the allegations against him. By first mentioning the good that Cosby has done for him, Warner seems to be saying that he has kept a favorable opinion of Cosby, despite the allegations.
Warner’s remarks show respect to the victims of sexual assault, but also say that Cosby himself is a victim as he is “going through this.” So, Warner’s decision to sympathize with both Cosby and his accusers may upset some people.
Raven-Symone, another Cosby castmate, says that the performer never did anything to her that was inappropriate during their years on the show. She herself was fighting against rumors that he’d done things to her body that no grown man should do to a child.
But Symone put the rumors to the side immediately on social media.
“I was NOT taking [sic]advantage of by Mr. Cosby when I was on the Cosby Show!” she said on Instagram. “I was practically a baby on that show and this is truly a disgusting rumor that I want no part of! Everyone on that show treated me with nothing but kindness. Now keep me out of this!”
Keshia Knight Pulliam, another cast member of the show, said favorable things about Cosby, along with Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby’s wife.
“Whoever is involved, those are the people who were there. I wasn’t there,” Pulliam said. “I can only speak to the great man that I know and love, who has been so generous, who has been such a philanthropist, giving back millions of dollars to education and schools. And just the man I grew up knowing. It’s really not my place to speak on that. Unfortunately, in the court of public opinion everyone has formed their opinion, but we’re still in America and you’re innocent until proven guilty of any crimes.”
So, even though Cosby may have done some things in his private life that were inappropriate, the women he’s worked with have all stood by him over the years. Also, his wife Camille has been steadfast in her support of the comedian. But victims continue to come out in public and many are demanding retribution.
How is this going to end? Tell us: Do you think the Cosby Show should be taken off the air because of the allegations?