I obviously don’t have the slightest clue whether or not Bill Cosby is guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting women, although it’s troubling that there are multiple allegations of such behavior spanning several decades. The topic reemerged in the news after comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a ‘rapist’ during a recent stand-up appearance in Philadelphia.
It’s an especially sensitive topic in Philly because Cosby is almost royalty in these parts, and known for much more than just his sitcom and pudding pops. He is now canceling scheduled appearances (or having them cancelled for him) and doesn’t have much to say in his defense. It doesn’t help that he reached a large cash settlement with one of his accusers.
I don’t know where this story is going, however, since the nature of the alleged crimes makes them impossible to prove (or disprove) beyond a doubt, and all we have is the weight of multiple allegations versus the positive image most of us have of the accused and our assessment of the credibility of his denials.
Other than getting a cash settlement, the only satisfaction the accusers can hope for is that Cosby’s name is tarnished, and that seems to have been accomplished.
For the moment, at least, Cosby can’t even make a radio appearance to discuss African Art without being asked about these rape allegations. Of course, these allegations are not new and they have faded in the past, allowing Cosby to resume a career that approaches normalcy.
I guess I hope that it’s not the case that multiple people have decided to ruin Cosby’s image for their own perverse and mean-spirited reasons, which, ironically, means that I hope that Cosby is actually guilty of the crimes of which he is accused.
Except, I can’t really say that because I actually hope he isn’t secretly a monster who drugs women in order to sexually prey on them.
As someone who grew up watching Fat Albert, the topic just makes me sad.