When Bill Cosby Dies?
Cosby had such a HUGE impact on so many of us growing up. He was the ideal dad. He was on television when families gathered together and watched the same thing at the same time. No social media, No YouTube and No Streaming Service. And, the media coined him "America's Dad" and he was a black man in America in the 80's. Everyone loved him!
The Cosby Show made us look at the world with more possibilities than most small towns freely offered. It made us see Clair Huxtable, the mom, the attorney, and the boss of the family, played by the always amazing Phylicia Rashad, as an obtainable goal. We all secretly wished she was our mom.
The children going off to college and the alma mater spirit that rang throughout the series and into the spin off "A Different World" put HBCUs, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, in prime-time for a wide viewing audience. Again, this was new for America.
Bill Cosby played Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable an Ob/Gyn in the shows 8 season run from 1984 - 1992. If you are a Gen Xer this was your entire childhood and you probably first encountered Bill Cosby in Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids in 1972 and again in Picture Pages in 1978 where he helped kids learn shapes, colors and math. Boomers will remember first meeting Cosby in "I Spy" as part of a dynamic duo or from his comedy albums. He won a multitude of awards for his ground breaking work.
The Cosby Show and Cosby ruled NBC's Thursday nights at 8pm, he gave America humor, jazz, parenting lessons and showed a successful married couple that still really loved each other. It was an idealist picture of family that every person wanted to be a part of and that is why we tuned in. Cosby reportedly made a million dollars per episode and was one of the richest people in America. He is currently worth $400 million dollars.
Ok, so the HUGE PROBLEM!
Apparently, throughout his career Cosby was a sexual deviant. He has been accused by 60 women of abuse, violation, drugging and in many cases rape. With the accusers finally going public Cosby's behavior was front page news. Until now, Cosby and many other "bad actors" had been allowed to go unchecked because of money, power and social status. New to many of us, Cosby's behavior was a poorly kept secret in the industry.
On September 25, 2018, Cosby was sentenced to jail. On June 30, 2021, Cosby was release on a technicality after serving more that two years of a 3-10 year sentence. There is much more to the case of which can be its own book. But, at age 83 an American icon, a rapist, a broken down legally blind old man, walked free and the 60 accusers and many, many more scratched their heads in confusion, anger and sadness.
So an obvious one is, why is the statute of limitations so short for sex crimes? When lawmakers put the limitations in place they didn't value or understand a victim's perspective? Well, how ever the limitations got there it is time for things change. Additionally, victims need to report these crimes when they happen and with help of the Me Too Movement more people feel supported in coming forward. Victims are tearing off the scarlet letter of sexual assault and holding abusers accountable.
How do we reconcile the fact that Cosby and others similar to him (you know who they are) have reached great heights in our society and have moved the bar in wonderful ways professionally and culturally, and then, on the flip-side, conducted themselves personally in atrocious ways and left devastation in their wake?
So, what do we do when Bill Cosby dies? The achievements, the success, the abuser, the conflict, the sadness, the disappointment is all very real.
I think I will sit at home not watching the Cosby Show or Fat Albert or his stand-up routine. But, rather, know that the "Perfect Dad" was really the neighborhood abuser and he got too many of us. And, hopefully, in the future we won't say, "Stay away from that guy."
We'll say, "Call the police!"
#BillCosby #BillCosbyDied #WhenCosbyDies #CosbyShow #Rape #SexualAbuse #AmericasDad #Accused #SexCrimes #ConvictedSexOffender #Disgraced #Cancelled #MeToo #sexualassault
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