I’ve always had mixed feelings about Bill Cosby. As a kid, I liked the shows he did or was part of in the 1970’s that were aimed at children – The Electric Company, Fat Albert, his variety show on Sunday nights at 7:00. He wasn’t so much a comedian as a storyteller and had all the skills to make an audience hang on every word of those stories.
I didn’t care so much for his 80’s show. THE COSBY SHOW was feel good Reagan era crap that completely ignored what a lot of African Americans go through in America. His evolution into a public scold for black people seemed ill-fitting considering he was very quiet during the civil rights era when he was first becoming a big star. Tommy Smothers once called him out on this and Cosby physically attacked him.
That last story is perhaps why my feelings about Cosby have always been mixed because I always felt under the affable, exasperated everyman was a lot of anger. It shows in his eyes and in his physical movements. I wouldn’t call it violent rage lurking there; more like a passive aggressive anger (although I could see him exploding). Complaining about one thing when you are really trying to let someone know you are irritated about that same thing without telling them outright. In general, there has always been something very creepy about Bill Cosby.
Regarding the rape accusations made about Cosby, I believe them because there are at least 14 (or 16) different women, most or all of whom don’t know each other, occurring over 30+ years and who tell somewhat similar stories of being drugged and groomed by Cosby and his army of handlers. Cosby has settled with at least one accuser out of court and has been mum on the rest. His PR people created a wall of silence.
Does this matter to Cosby’s huge legacy as a comedian and performer? Yes it does. Cosby has always marketed himself as a clean family man, an image that began to unravel in the 90’s when he was the victim of a blackmail plot involving the paternity of a prostitute’s daughter, a prostitute Cosby admitted to sleeping with. All that time spent hanging out at the Playboy Mansion should have been a clue.
Cosby is a monumental fake and a sexual predator. He is an old man but IMO there is no statute of limitations in exposing someone like this. It will be good to see Bill Cosby suffer some form of justice either in the courts or through the lessening of him as a popular public figure.