At the height of his career, Bill Cosby had it all: fame, fortune and respect. His television shows and movies portrayed the perfect American dad. His characters, which many believed to be the man himself, were strict when needed, fun, and loving. The sexual allegations from at least 15 women against him have marred that image. Now the man can not even cancel a show due to weather and not be bombarded with rumors and speculations. Bill Cosby’s demise is truly a shame.
Instead of laughter heard in Boston’s Wilbur Theater last night, some twenty protesters were heard on megaphones. They read statements of those who have accused Bill Cosby of lewd behavior. One protester, 40 year old Alexa Reed stated “He[Bill Cosby] needs to be taken down.” If the allegations are true and not blown out of proportion few would dispute that.
Bill Cosby continues to deny the claims laid against him. Despite rumors that he canceled due to the protests, he sited weather concerns. He stated “I have decided to cancel for your travel safety.” If the accusations laid against him are true, perhaps it is a scapegoat. Perhaps he does not care, which would make him the pompous sexual offender some believe him to be.
Still, it took quite a number of years for these women to step forward. Debates could go on and on about the reasons why. If the allegations are true, people need to start coming forward sooner. One wonders if the allegations are not largely just an attempt to take millions of dollars from an aging actor. It happened to Donald Sterling. Anyone listening to the recording of Donald Sterling could tell he was being coerced into making the racist statements he did. Sure, he was wrong to make such statements, but subsequent interviews revealed the man’s mind is not entirely there anymore. Bill Cosby may be a victim of the same.
Regardless of his guilt, the demise of Bill Cosby is a shame. It seems these days no one in the limelight can avoid embarrassing and public fallouts. From Tiger Woods to Brian Williams, celebrities mistakes are on full display. Even if they are only accusations. If not, they fully deserve their demise, but no more so than a regular Joe.
Even if Bill Cosby is guilty, the proceedings are hard to watch. Malcolm-Jamal Warner, a member of the “The Cosby Show” cast stated, “He’s one of my mentors…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 is especially true when talking about the man who used to be known as America’s dad.
Little has been proven about Bill Cosby’s actions, largely because they happened years ago. Women, and even men as the case may be, everywhere facing these issues need to come forward sooner to assist in real change. They should not be afraid to make their voices heard. Rather than focus on events from years past, legal action needs to be taken against more recent crimes. Playing catch-up will not help new victims. It is a shame that the demise of Bill Cosby is the media’s focus now when, if true, it should have happened years ago.
By Varon Laub