I don’t want to think Bill Cosby is actually guilty of the crimes of which he has been accused. I grew up with Bill my entire life. The Bill Cosby Show, The New Bill Cosby Show, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, The Cosby Show and Cosby (goddam, that man knew how to brand!) Even the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Leonard Part 6. Through it all, Bill was there teaching life lessons in maintaining a strong moral fiber.
I believed in Bill. When he went on tour railing against the state of Black America, I was one of the ones saying “well y’all were thinking it, he just said it!”
So again, I don’t want to believe these women that claimed Bill coerced them into his home, where he drugged them then sexually assaulted them. I don’t want to believe that he promised to help or hurt their potential career paths if some of them didn’t go along. I want to believe that Bill actually is a man of integrity. And, until an actual judge and/or jury convicts him of these crimes (which has NOT YET happened) I’m going to hold on to that belief…shaky as it may be at this point.
The court of public opinion, however, has already tried and convicted Bill. There have been multiple blog posts calling for a silent boycott of all things Cosby. Television interviews have been canceled. His upcoming new show that was in the works has been halted. All because of what people are saying.
That being said, if it goes from speculation and rumor to fact that he assaulted these women…? Fuck him. Fuck his Jello Puddin’ Pop eating, “pull yo’ pants up, boy!” screaming, silly face-making ass!
But what about his legacy in television? Can I then separate the artist from his art? I don’t have a problem doing that with a Roman Polanski (child raping fuck that he is) or a Wesley Snipes (wife beating fuck that he is) or to a certain degree even an R. Kelly (…umm…just…fuck that he is.) But that seems different somehow. I think the main reason is that I never believed in those artists in any sort of substantial way. I never thought of those other artists or any like them as a societal pillar of any kind. So, it’s a lot easier to consider Polanski’s Repulsion to be one of my favorite films or head nod to the “arr-uh” as he sings about laying around the house butt-nekkid except for sweat socks and house shoes.
With Bill it’s different. I expected more out of him. I expected more from myself and others because of him.
So, if these allegations turn out to actually be true, not only will I be outraged, I’ll be deeply disappointed. And somehow that’s just so much worse.