Bill Cosby, now 77 years of age and planning a sweeping comeback to the comedy and television scene, was once everyone’s favorite TV dad with his hit sitcom in the 1980s that is forever etched into America’s collective vernacular. Here in the last few months, Bill was trying to launch a pretty big comeback. He had a new television sitcom in the works with his old pals at NBC, continued to schedule dozens of stand-up comedy performances around the nation, and even had a comedy special coming to Netflix. Now, they won’t even show reruns of the Cosby Show on TVLand. What the hell happened?
Well, multiple women have come forward saying that the beloved comedian is actually a rapist. In fact, the allegations seem to indicate a troubling pattern of behavior resulting in several sexual assaults over the years. Now, mind you, all of these allegations are decades in the past, and Bill Cosby has never at any time been charged with a crime in any of these instances. Despite that, NBC cancelled its plans to produce a new show with Cosby, Netflix cancelled his stand-up comedy special, and today, TVLand announced that they won’t even show reruns of his shows on their station.
So, in recap, a man that has never been convicted of anything has basically been shunned by three major companies in Hollywood over allegations that there are no actual facts to back up.
Having said all that, you can’t help but wonder if there isn’t some truth to these stories. After all, there are multiple allegations, and investigators in previous cases have said in interviews that Cosby probably committed the crimes in question but there was never enough evidence to push forward with criminal action. Cosby did settle at least one situation out of court, which could mean that these women are hoping that he might do the same today. However, there is no threat of any of these allegations becoming a criminal issue, because not one of the accusers is alleging a crime that wouldn’t be decades past any statute of limitations. The only punishment Cosby is receiving for these alleged crimes is in the pocketbook.
While it might make a little sense not to want to produce a stand-up comedy special with Cosby for next year for fear he might go on a new raping tirade between now and then, it’s hard for any reasonable person to see how anyone could be offended by seeing a rerun of the Cosby Show on TVLand. Are we really to the point where we can’t even watch a wholesome family comedy sitcom from the 1980s because the main character might have committed a crime. What difference does it make?
Which brings up an interesting point. Jameis Winston, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback of controversial Florida State University was accused of rape by a woman last year. He was not charged, although many believe there is more to the story than Jameis is saying. Should ESPN and the major networks refuse to broadcast Florida State football games? After all, we have an alleged rapist on the field. There is no evidence to back up the claim, but if we can do it to Bill Cosby, why not Jameis Winston? In any case, no one can cry that this is a racial issue, can they?