Bill Cosby: The Harvey Weinstein of Black Hollywood

By:  H.T., Website:  Rogue Black Nerd

Bill Cosby is in prison for at least the next 3 years and will live out the rest his days labeled a dangerous offender and for the rest of his known legacy he will be known more for his worst deeds than what he did to help black Hollywood flourish.  Let me start by saying that I do believe his guilt as this many women, with nothing to gain and at the very least all have the grounds to file a civil suit (but few have) called him out because for as much as I feel certain aspects of the #MeToo movement are problematic, one cannot deny that cases like Cosby are the type of men that need to be ousted from civilized society and punished in some way.  But I think there’s something we all need to discuss in earnest.  As we saw with Geoffrey Owens, there are many people and things that frankly are affected by Cosby’s fall from grace.  There are royalties that will never be dolled out, or at least not to the same amounts because it’s tougher to find channels to syndicate The Cosby Show, I Spy, Fat Albert, Cosby or really any of his other works that he was on.  Cosby’s very presence on these shows are firebrands, which may be the reason that shows like A Different World has managed to last as long as it has despite being a spin-off of his show.

I am not saying Bill should be excused for his actions or that we shouldn’t take into account that many of his victims, both the known ones and ones that might never come to light with what he did, are still out there and might have to look at their rapist.  I am not saying we should forget that there are hundreds of thousands (likely far more) that are rape victims themselves and would feel like we live in a world that doesn’t care about rape victims when a prominent rapist is still allowed on tv.  What I am asking is what do we do with all of his content and the fact that Bill professionally is responsible for an entire generation of black actors?  Content wise, it’s easy to throw his work on some form of streaming service as really no one has to watch it involuntarily.  It’s likely his films with Sidney Poitier will be on something like Brown Sugar as the demo for it frankly aren’t really phased by his actions, but that leaves a lot of his work that will just exist in the wild on DVDs that will likely go out of print and thus become collectors items that will be worth far more than they ever were before.  I am not saying this to garner sympathy for the man, I am simply stating the likely logic for all this.

With his legacy, I think this will be a situation where black actors will seriously have to consider that an entire generation of black stars, dead or alive, will be subjected to some form of inquisition as clearly these were people that benefited while this man committed all these horrible actions and possibly were his unknowing cover for him.  Phylicia Rashad has pretty much made it clear she stands by this man despite the incredibly high number of accusers.  Meanwhile pretty much every other actor with ties to him has remained completely silent and many continue to work steadily.  In a nutshell, Bill Cosby is black Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein.  Many argue that all these accusers after all these years shouldn’t have been able to undermine him this hard, but fact is like Weinstein, the accusations have been around for decades and like Weinstein, getting rid of him essentially means we are left to watch as much of what he had a hand in creating suffer or crumble entirely.

As Bill Cosby goes off to prison to serve out his sentence, he will ultimately have to live out his days in shame as a social pariah and one of the worse predators Hollywood has ever seen.  People will ask, “Why did Bill Cosby go down so quickly in the public eye but countless white men like Donald Trump and Weinstein himself have yet to face jail time for their actions?  Why must another black man go down and be labeled a creep despite very little proof of an actual crime?”  The answers to the best of my ability, is that Weinstein is being charged with rape and is currently trying to hold off the trial, Donald Trump is a legit pedophile as he’s on the Flight logs to Jeffrey Epstein’s plane to his private island where court documents say molestation of young girls happened, but as Donald Trump’s fans have shown, they don’t care if he is a predator.  As for the issue of black men going down for their actions, let me remind you all that Bill didn’t HAVE to drug these women, just like R. Kelly didn’t HAVE to marry Aaliyah at 16 and allegedly film a sex tape with a minor.  OJ Simpson didn’t HAVE to abuse and murder his ex wife.  jJust because famous men who are white get away with these things doesn’t mean we should allow black men to.  Again, if you want to see how disturbing letting a powerful black man get away with abusing women can get, please google Dr. Dwight York and the cult he used to prey on young women.  Knowing what we know about York, how many of you would try to justify his actions because they let the Branch Davidians get away with similar actions for years?

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