Phylicia Rashad, the African American actress best known for playing “Claire Huxtable,” Bill Cosby’s wife on his legendary sitcom, was resolute about not be dragged into the crisis facing her on-screen hubby, as woman after women has come out with allegations that she was raped, sexually assaulted or drugged by funny, ol’ Bill. She should have stayed that way. Unfortunately, she allowed a Hollywood celebrity reporter to pull some quotes out of her, and now she has a crisis of her own. Now we know she values loyalty, group identification, show business protocol and her own financial interests over decency, fairness, honesty, justice, compassion, respect for women, and truth.
Or, I suppose, she might be an idiot.
Rashad’s take on Cosby’s problems was also odd, as it focused very little on the man being accused of such heinous acts. She didn’t say, or at least such remarks weren’t reported, that he was a wonderful human being, or that she could not imagine the man she worked so closely with all these years doing what so many alleged victims claim. She said that she “loves” him. In show business, this is like the host of a TV talk show saying a guest is a close personal friend: it is routine, and means nothing. Rashad’s defense of Cosby consisted of dismissing his victims’ stories as baseless, and this:
“What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture….Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV. And it’s worked. All his contracts have been cancelled…This show represented America to the outside world. This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?”
Why. Huh. That’s a head scratcher isn’t it? Yes, why would the entertainment value of family situation comedy about a wise, loving father , the wife whom he adores and his brood of adorable, normal, kids, including three, and ultimately four, teenage girls be diminished in the least by overwhelming evidence that the actor playing said father is a sick, ruthless, sexual predator and the King of Hypocrites?
I’m sure Rashad knows that Cosby had a chance decades ago to have many of these accusations tested in court, and instead paid off his primary accuser. Was Bill in on the conspiracy? What evil mastermind orchestrated such a diverse group of women of different ages, races and backgrounds, some famous, some not, none with any chance of financial benefit and the certainty of being publicly slimed by Cosby, his spokespersons, his lawyers and his blind admirers, to collectively set out to destroy the reputation of such a wonderful man? The conspiracy claim is the bottom of the barrel as desperation excuses for villains go, although Hillary Clinton did pretty well with it when she used it to defend the first black President, her husband, knowing very well that it was Bill’s zipper problems and not any conspiracy that had caused that crisis. And look! A lot of people want her to be President! I suppose Felicia feels that her nauseating and dishonest defense of the latest sexual predator named Bill won’t hurt her career or stop her from getting another “TV star Felicia Rashad stars in” gig in a failing Broadway musical, or another wife role on a cable situation comedy.
But it should: I don’t think people should applaud performers who want to cover up for rapists to protect their “legacy.” What Rashad is really protecting, I suspect, is her bank account: Cosby series residuals are a substantial income stream for her, and she obviously is willing to dismiss he co-stars prey if she can get that cash cow back on the air. She knows who has destroyed the Huxtable legacy: his name is Bill Cosby. I bet she’s furious at him, but never mind: the important thing is to discredit nearly thirty women (and rising) and maybe, just maybe, those checks will start coming in again.
Now her legacy is that of a women who chose to stand by a serial sexual abuser rather than be fair and respectful to his likely victims.
The idiot theory looks better by the minute.
Source: Showbiz 411
19 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Phylicia Rashad”
“although Hillary Clinton did pretty well with it when she used it to defend the first black President, her husband, knowing very well…”
Hillary married Obama?
But to the subject matter… When’s the last time we heard of Phylicia Rashad? Sometimes I wonder if these people are really as stupid as they come off, or if they’re of middling or even superior intelligence, and they’re saying these things as a desperate bid for relevancy. Rush does a form of this, I’m sure he doesn’t believe everything he says, but he knows it’s inflammatory.
Surely you recall Toni Morrison christening Bill “The First Black President”??? I always thought her designation was racist, based on his poor upbringing, lack of a stable family and irresponsible personal conduct.
Honestly, Between 1993 and 2001 I was 7 to 15 years old, I missed the reference completely.
I was very interested in what Phylicia Rashad might have seen or heard when she appeared with Cosby on two different shows. Cosby’s co-stars have been put on the hot seat lately and it’s not an eviable position to be in. While I fully believe Raven Symone and Keshia-Knight Pulliam never witnessed or experienced any shenanigans, it seemed unlikely that an adult working so closely with Cosby could have overlooked red flags.
I could have handled her saying that these accusations do not reflect the man she knows because it is possible for a manipulative person to hide the darker aspects of his character from friends and co-workers. Otherwise, the wives of Gary Ridgway and Dennis Rader wouldn’t have been so surprised when their husbands were arrested for their crimes. She trusts him. She owes him big for the career she has now. I get that.
And, yet, her comments perplex me. Is she really saying that someone somewhere is orchestrating a decades-long smear campaign against one of the most popular comedians and entertainers in television history for the sole purpose of ruining his legacy? Is she really saying that two dozen women of various ages and backgrounds all made up similar stories of incidents over a span of decades, opening themselves up to public scrutiny, so that some mystery person out there could trample on Cosby’s career?
When posing the question online, “Who hates Bill Cosby that much?”, I get comments as predictable as “racist white folks” and as laughable as “He’s considering a run for President which automatically makes him a target”.
So call it cognitive dissonance or call it misplaced loyalty. I don’t know that it’s necessarily the residuals from “The Cosby Show” that have motivated this defense, but some of Rashad’s comments in the past would certainly imply a certain amount of group identification. She’s now claiming to have been misquoted, which she almost certainly wasn’t, though I will allow that her statement was inelegantly phrased and didn’t come out the way she meant it. You’re right…she’d have been better not to have said anything.
While at this point the accusers are pretty much overwhelming, I would point out that Cosby has been an outspoken critic of the race-baiters, of non-productive black men who cause multiple children, then disappear, and of black people in general who will not take any form of responsibility, either for their own behavior or for the results of that behavior. However, that said, I doubt that even Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson could raise the resources needed to buy the testimony of 30-some-odd women. The DNC might be able to swing it, but why would they. Nobody was paying any attention to Cosby anyway, except a few die-hard white people.
She really doesn’t say anything good about Bill. It smacks of a straw man, denial-based desperate argument…and I do think $$$ is at its core. In Hollywood, it usually is.
I met a writer/producer of the Cosby Show once. He told me that Cosby was an ass, but he didn’t go into too much detail other than that Cosby was chronically unprepared for shoots and never thought he had to learn lines. I thought there was more to the story but didn’t press.
I heard the same thing. Cosby was a navy hospital corpsman back in the 50’s.. His sub-specialty was operating room tech. I went to preventive med school at Oak knoll naval hospital, which is next door to our school. One day, I was talking to the school’s command master chief, and he told me he asked him to speak at their change of command ceremony. He said Cosby not only said no, but very rudely stated that it was far beneath his dignity to share space with such lowly people.
Such stories abound. Most comics, clowns and comedians are miserable, maladjusted, selfish, angry people. The nice ones—Steve Martin, Martin Short, Red Skelton, a few others…are anomalies.
Actually, Steve Matin (who I admire as a comic genius), has the reputation of being a titanic a$$hole.
Depends who you talk to. He’s about, oh, 8.9 times smarter than almost everyone he works with, and my experience is that those who are intellectually deficient often mistake being intelligent with being an asshole.
Uh, I don’t think so Jack. You really should stop with meaningless ripostes. Really.
“UH”: obnoxious, and likely to get you banned for gratuitous snottiness. Watch it.
“I don’t think so Jack.” Don’t think WHAT? That Martin is unusually intelligent? Have you read his books? His play? Have you heard him interviewed? I don’t thing you know anywhere near as much about this particular topic as I do, but in any event, this phrase is condescending, and you have no brief to condescend to your host. Watch it 2.
“You really should stop with meaningless ripostes.” What the hell does THAT mean, or even refer to? WHAT’S Meaningless?
“Really.” Snotty. Bite me. Snark without substance is just rude. You can criticize anything I write with abandon—start criticizing ME, and you’re gone. Watch it 3.
Tell you what: your next post is a sincere apology to me for this gratuitous, jerkish, non substantive. unprovoked insulting comment, or I’m banning you. Commenters get one asshole comment to me, and then it’s curtains. That was yours. Your choice.
Is there a statute if limitations for a criminal prosecution of these rape charges? If not, that is the way this case should be handled. I cannot bring myself to assume he is guilty because of these claims until he is rightfully tried and convicted. If we are to convict or otherwise hold someone – or group of people – accountable for any claim, when the justification is that many people make similar claims, without going through the appropriate process we would necessarily have to validate the claims made by those that feel that police departments are inherently racist organizations.
I don’t know the facts of the cases nor am I judging the merits of the accusers. I just think that we should bring charges against the accused or leave the accused alone. We should not crucify anyone unless we go through the appropriate processes. Rich or poor, black or white guilt must be proven in court and everyone is entitled to due process.
Most of not all of the cases are barred by the SOL. These are 30 years old in some cases. There is literally no chance that this many women could be coming out with similar stories and for him to be innocent. Every expert in the field will tell you this. I see no reason that we can’t conclude via a preponderance of the evidence that he is guilty as hell. He’s not going to jail—we don’t need a trial to think.
Chris, truly, your point is moronic. I know you’ll take exception to this with your dopey and confused “innocent until proven guilty”schtick. But trust me on this one.
This is an excellent piece and I am very grateful to you for writing it. In my view you set out the potential explanations perfectly: essentially, she is either a vile, dissolute human being or a dunce. In fact, I found this piece by googling “Phylicia Rashad Moron”. “Orchestrated” indeed. Sure Phylicia. You should have kept your piehole shut. The woman is a disgrace.
Phylicia Rashad is a class act and one person I’m happy to see hasn’t succumb to that muckraking that earns all of you poor souls your celebrity status at the expense of others. As she has said, let the justice system play everything out and all the rest of you with nothing better to do than feed off the mistakes and misfortunes of famous people…get a life. Seriously get a life.
You’re a moron. Get help. Sexually molesting about a hundred women, that we know of, is a misfortune and a mistake. Wow. How do you navigate life with a brain this defective, and values this corrupted? My God. This may not be the most idiotic thing anyone has written among the 100,000 comments EA has received, but only because the occasional Great Ape get a hold of a laptop.
I’m banning you for stupidity, and being a walking insult to the human race.