‘Cosby Show’ star Phylicia Rashad is facing tough opposition in her upcoming latest gig as dean of the Howard University College of Arts after she tweeted support for her former TV husband Bill Cosby in a now-deleted social media post.
Hours after the abrupt statement Rashad doubled back, sharing that she supports survivors of sexual violence.
“I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing,” Rashad wrote.
Regardless of Rashad’s second tweet, Howard issued a statement issuing distance between Rashad’s statement and the university’s commitment to honoring survivors.
“Survivors of sexual assault will always be our priority. While Dean Rashad has acknowledged in her follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, her initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault. Personal positions of University leadership do not reflect Howard University’s policies. We will continue to advocate for survivors fully and support their right to be heard. Howard will stand with survivors and challenge systems that would deny them justice. We have full confidence that our faculty and school leadership will live up to this sacred commitment.”
And on social media students and former alumni of the university voiced concern over Rashad’s post as a newly appointed dean.
For many who grew up watching Rashad and Cosby portray characters who were written to personify a version of Black elegance, Rashad’s comments remind us that it’s important to always separate the actor from the television characters they portray. Rashad’s comments supporting Cosby were a replay of previously reported comments where she attempted to defend Cosby’s legacy during the height of Cosby’s accusations in 2015.
“Forget these women,” Rashad reportedly said. “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.”
Rashad later said that she was misquoted, but the blowback remained.
In the entertainment industry, Janet Hubert, who portrayed another iconic Black woman character as the original “Aunt Viv” character on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” sought to check Rashad over her statement.
Hubert also shockingly revealed that she knows five women who have not come forward.
Wednesday’s ruling bars any retrial in the case after Cosby’s conviction was vacated on a technicality.
Cosby was two years into a three-to-10-year prison term for indecent assault against Andrea Constand in 2004 prior to Wednesday’s ruling which bars a retrial after Cosby was released on a technicality.
Howard Students, Alumni Call For Phylicia Rashad To Step Down As Dean After Supporting Bill Cosby was originally published on newsone.com