Updates to the Bill Cosby trial and more farther below
Bill Cosby seemed like a clean-cut, nice guy on his “Cosby Show” sit com back in the 1980s. On that show, he was the married guy who was also a father.
Cobsy also used to appear in JELL-O commercials and appeared likable and very friendly.
It’s disconcerting to discover that a guy who seemed so trustworthy and genial is alleged to have drugged and sexually assaulted 50 or more women.
Here are links about Cosby and other celebrities who maybe you considered nice – based on their public work – but in private, they’re actually jerks or perverts:
From Wikipedia: Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations
American entertainer Bill Cosby has been the subject of publicized sexual assault allegations. With the earliest alleged incidents taking place in the mid-1960s, Cosby has been accused by over 60 women of either rape, drug facilitated sexual assault,sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and/or sexual misconduct.
Earlier sexual assault allegations against Cosby became more public after an October 2014 comedy routine by comedian Hannibal Buress alluding to Cosby’s covert sexual misbehavior went viral, and many additional claims were made after that date.
The dates of the alleged incidents span from 1965 to 2008 across 10 U.S. states and one Canadian province.
“He [Cosby] is an individual who has used his fame and fortune for decades to conceal his crimes and hide his true nature,” District Attorney Kevin Steele wrote, noting Cosby fought repeated efforts by the Associated Press to unseal documents from the civil case file.
by Zeba Blay
My decision not to watch the show (which, before the scandal erupted I had marathoned every year), wasn’t wholly moralistic. It didn’t feel “right,” but not just because of the nature of the allegations against the 78-year-old comedian. To be perfectly honest, I was afraid I would no longer be able to enjoy my favorite black sitcom or, worse, I would actually enjoy it and then I’d feel guilty.
By refusing to watch something I had once loved, I was protecting my own nostalgia. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It shapes identity, distorts memory, and sits precariously at the intersection of the bitter and the sweet. Re-watching “The Cosby Show,” in light of Cosby’s recent arraignment, was the very definition of bittersweet.
There’s so much weight in this show, its legacy, its cultural impact, and the impact it had on me as an individual. For me, like so many other black people who grew up with the show either during its original run or through re-runs, the Huxtables weren’t just a collection of colorful, fictional TV characters. They were something closer to family.
… [I watched repeats of The Cosby Show.] I chuckled at a few jokes, even at the moments I’ve seen hundreds of times.
I got the same warm fuzzies I’ve always felt when I saw the Huxtable family huddled together on the couch of their brownstone living room, or heard the jazzy theme song go over the iconic credits.
But mixed in with all that familiarity was, as expected, a feeling of unease and uncertainty whenever Cliff Huxtable was on screen. His knowing smile, his playful teasing and his witty one-liners all felt disjointed and out of place. Maybe even a little sinister. It was fascinating, because nothing has changed about this show. But everything has changed.
….When reports of Bill Cosby’s alleged history of sexual abuse resurfaced last year, a part of me wanted to hold on to the distinction between Bill Cosby, the accused serial rapist and Cliff Huxtable, America’s Dad.
I think an argument can be made, in some cases, for separating an entertainer’s personal life, however messy it is, from how one feels about their art. But the fact that Cosby used his Cliff Huxtable persona as leverage for allegedly perpetrating and hiding his assaults makes that impossible for me to do.
…Letting go of “The Cosby Show” means letting go of Bill Cosby as we knew him. And that’s scary. It’s a kind of loss of innocence. The innocence lost from the Cosby scandal strangely dovetails with a kind of innocence lost surrounding the idea of the Black American Dream, something we have tightly clung to.
I remembered that moment the other day when I saw the news that Cosby had admitted in a previously sealed deposition to drugging women in order to rape them. In all probability Cosby is a serial sex offender..
… His [Cosby’s] most noteworthy enterprise, “The Cosby Show,” was a shining exemplar of upward mobility, dignity, and a functioning black family. Now Cosby’s legacy has been called into question.
Americans on both sides of the color line are upset by Cosby’s behavior not exclusively because of the horrific nature of his crimes, but also because his failings have robbed many of them of an innocent and positive part of their youth. Being disabused of childhood nostalgia is one of the most painful parts of being (and becoming) an adult.
June 2017 update:
To many he was Dr. Cliff Huxtable, America’s dad and neighbor. There was nothing he could do wrong — or at least seemingly so — and so it came as a surprise to many (and probably to him), when in 2014, a comedian cracked, “Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby.” Three years later, he’s standing trial for sexual assault.
…Elsewhere, America is still trying to make sense of the man as American as Jell-O being an alleged sexual predator.
The Cosby Show reruns are cancelled, NBC nixed a new show from the comedian and Netflix scrapped his comedy special after protests popped up outside of his performance venues.
In Dave Chappelle’s recent Netflix standup special, he compared the dichotomy of Cosby’s new reputation to discovering ice cream itself was a rapist.
The mother of one of Bill Cosby’s accusers recalled Tuesday how her daughter called her crying in 1996 to tell her that the famed actor had drugged and assaulted her, then tried to have her fired from the agency that represented him.
Patrice Sewell took the stand to corroborate daughter Kelly Johnson’s allegation that she called her mother after Cosby gave her an incapacitating pill and took advantage of her at his hotel in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Sewell also recounted a call in which Johnson told her Cosby was pressuring Tom Illius, his now-deceased agent at William Morris talent agency, to terminate her.
April 2018 update
by Steve Helling, April 26, 2018
Bill Cosby has been convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in January 2004.
Montgomery County jurors deliberated for about 14 hours over two days before handing down the guilty verdict. Afterward, Cosbywas freed on bond by the judge.
Cosby was convicted on three aggravated indecent sexual assault charges, each of which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Cosby assaulted Constand, 45, in his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion in January 2004. The defense claimed that the sexual contact was consensual. Both sides presented 12 days of testimony and evidence to the seven-man, five-woman jury.
A jury found Bill Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault on Thursday, for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in a Philadelphia suburb in 2004.
The 80-year-old comedian faces up to 10 years in prison on each count, but Cosby is likely to serve them concurrently. A sentencing hearing with Judge Steven O’Neill has not yet been scheduled, and Cosby remains out on bail.
Cosby did not audibly react to his conviction, but erupted shortly afterward. Minutes after the verdict, prosecutors asked the judge to revoke Cosby’s bail. They said he is a flight risk and has a private plane.
Bill Cosby’s conviction on sexual assault charges drew a range of reactions on social media Thursday — including acknowledgement of another comedian whose 2014 jokes about Cosby have been credited with raising awareness of the allegations Cosby faced.
Thousands of people on Twitter and other sites lauded comedian Hannibal Buress, who called Cosby a rapist during a stand-up set at a Philadelphia comedy club that was recorded and which went viral at the time.
… In the 2014 routine, Buress mocks Cosby’s public scolding of the black community for bad behavior, alleging that Cosby has some shortcomings of his own.
“‘Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom,’ ” Buress says, impersonating Cosby.
“‘Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby,'” Buress replies in his own voice. “So, brings you down a couple notches. I don’t curse on stage. But yeah, you’re a rapist.”
…Buress then encourages audience members to research Cosby’s legal history online.
…More than 60 women have spoken out against Cosby, including 35 accusers who told their story to a “culture that wouldn’t listen,” the Cut magazine reported.
Before then, Cosby’s accusers were met with skepticism, threats and attacks on their character, the magazine reported.
April 26, 2018
by Wesley Morris
If a sexual predator wanted to come up with a smoke screen for his ghastly conquests, he couldn’t do better than Cliff Huxtable.
Cliff was affable, patient, wise, and where Mrs. Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) was concerned, justly deferential. His wit was quick, his sweaters roomy and kaleidoscopic. He could be romantic. Cliff should have been the envy of any father ever to appear on a sitcom. He was vertiginously dadly. Cliff is the reason for the cognitive dissonance we’ve been experiencing for the last three or four years. He seemed inseparable from the man who portrayed him.
Bill Cosby was good at his job. That sums up why the guilty verdictThursday is depressing — depressing not for its shock but for the work the verdict now requires me to do. The discarding and condemning and reconsidering — of the shows, the albums, the movies. But I don’t need to watch them anymore. It’s too late. I’ve seen them. I’ve absorbedthem. I’ve lived them. I’m a black man, so I am them.
…“America’s Dad” is what we called Bill Cosby. And we called him that because, well, what a revolutionary way to put it. Through him, we were thumbing our noses at the long, dreary history for black men in America by elevating this one to a paternal Olympus. …
The Huxtables [Bill Cosby’s sit com family] laughed and bonded and debated and lip-synced. They were glamorous and simple and extraordinarily human. And affluent. … But white people wanted to matriculate, too. So they became its Harvard. For a decade, I filed an emotional application. I had a biological family, and this TV one, a dream family, the fiction against which I measured my blood.
…“We are not Africans,” he [Bill Cosby] said. “Those people are not Africans, they don’t know a damned thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Shaligua, Mohammed, and all that crap and all of them are in jail.” Maybe this was Cliff unplugged — and unhinged. Mohammed?
But it was a dare to flirt with distance, to reconsider all those applications I filed, to see Bill Cosby as someone who, despite hours of comedy like “Bill Cosby Is Not Himself These Days” and “Bill Cosby: Himself,” might not be willing or able to see who “himself” actually is. I called this a speech, but he performed it like another standup special.
Here is a forum thread with a lot of people chipping in to share stories of celebrities they met in real life who were rude or obnoxious:
Some examples from that page:
Post by doubleshiny
John De Lancie (Q in Star Trek) was at a signing event and was sat all alone with no-one at his table for quite some time, so I decided to go over and get his autograph, because I felt a bit sorry for him.
I paid my money and said ‘Hello’ and he gave me the most contemptuous look, signed the photo and then literally turned his back on me.
There was nothing behind him either, so he just turned to the wall and sat there until I went away.
Post by likealltheboysbefore
It killed me, as I was a big fan. Met her at work – she was impolite and really really defensive for no reason (she was being interviewed). At one point, she was asked a really simple question along the lines of ‘do you like to cook?’ or some other benign thing and she was insulted by it and our poor interviewer had to kiss her ass for the rest of the interview. Was not pleasant to be around at all and seemed everything but genuine. So sad.
Actor Jeffrey Jones is busted on child porn charges. After a year-long investigation, Los Angeles police say they’ve arrested the ”Ferris Bueller” principal for allegedly coaxing a 17-year-old boy to appear in a sex video
Jeffrey Jones was arrested Thursday in Hollywood after a year-long child porn investigation. The 56-year-old character actor, best known for playing the Javert-like high school principal in pursuit of truant Matthew Broderick in ”Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” was charged with a felony count of using a minor in a sexually oriented film and a misdemeanor count of possession of child pornography, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told the Los Angeles Times.
…The same probe targeted Jones pal and fellow Tim Burton movie alumnus Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee-Wee Herman, the Times reports. (Jones played Winona Ryder’s dad in ”Beetlejuice” and had roles in ”Ed Wood” and ”Sleepy Hollow.”)
A year ago, police armed with a search warrant searched Reubens’ home and carted off boxes of material, including computers and what Reubens’ spokesperson described as a collection of ”vintage erotica.”
The spokesperson said there was no underage porn found at the house, and no charges were filed against Reubens, but days later, police searched Jones’ house, saying they were acting on leads found among Reubens’ stash.
SARASOTA, Fla. — Children’s television star Pee-wee Herman was arrested and charged with exposing himself inside an adult theater, authorities said yesterday.
Reubens, 38, who lives in Studio City, Calif., was charged with exposure of a sexual organ. He was released from county jail Friday night after posting $219 bond. Three others were arrested on similar charges.
The arrest comes a day after actor Jeffrey Jones, whose roles have included the principal in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” was booked on a more serious felony count of using a teenage boy in sexually oriented pictures or films and misdemeanor possession of child pornography.
An LAPD investigation into Reubens and Jones began last year after a 17- year-old boy made a complaint to authorities.
Police said Reubens was booked based on evidence gathered by detectives last November when they served a search warrant at his Hollywood Hills home and seized his large art collection, which includes erotic images. Investigators also seized Reubens’ personal computers.
We all have this image of the famous people we enjoy, and when that is disrupted, it is disappointing. Hell, even The Bloggess had to accept that maybe Nathan Fillion wasn’t our universal BFF.
Yes, I’m certain there are famous people who are genuinely good, but, ultimately, at a certain level of fame and management involvement, celebrities are pure persona, a conjecture based on meticulous image control and media manipulation.