America’s Rapist Keeps Hollywood Star
It’s been a terrible week for
America’s Dad … ehrm, I mean America’s Rapist, Bill Cosby, and it would be very remiss of us at the C of CC not to give at least one shout out to this American cultural icon whose television alter ego Cliff Huxtable had such an outsized impact on American race relations:
“What a way to end one of the greatest careers in the history of American television and popular culture.
Your statue is removed from Disney World’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park. Reruns of your groundbreaking shows are banished from the airwaves. Longtime colleagues and supporters publicly denounce you. A judge cites your self-anointed posture as a moralist as the reason to unseal a 10-year-old court document that contained the smoking gun: your own testimony that you obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom you intended to have sex.
Call it the week of the cultural death of Bill Cosby.
I appreciate what an enormous cultural force Cosby once was. In fact, I am one of the guys who helped create and burnish the image of him as “America’s Dad” in my work as a pop culture and TV critic at papers like the Detroit Free Press, Dallas Times Herald and The Baltimore Sun.
I also believed he was making a difference in attitudes about race, particularly in the 1980s and ’90s with the series “The Cosby Show,” in which he starred, and “A Different World,” which he produced.
Writing about the sweaters he wore on screen and their history as a symbol of patriarchal authority for the white TV dads on shows like “Father Knows Best” in the 1950s and ’60s, I argued that by adopting this simple wardrobe prop and so owning it, he appropriated the authority that came with it for men of color. And that was just one of the ways that Cosby’s TV persona subtly helped normalize the idea of black men in power for millions of white viewers. …”
Bill Cosby got away with raping upwards of 40 women, most of them White women, because the media chose to look the other way on the grounds that he was “making a difference in attitudes about race.” Oddly enough, the same media which coddled this serial rapist for decades continues to promote the myth of “white privilege.”
He’s also keeping his Hollywood star:
“Bill Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame isn’t going anywhere, no matter how bad the scandal over allegations of sexual assault might get.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which awards the stars, says it has gotten many requests to remove Cosby’s star, which has graced the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard since it was awarded in 1977.
To which Leron Gubler, president and chief executive of the chamber, has a simple response:
“The answer is no.”
Ain’t That America … Bill Cosby keeps his Hollywood star, but we tear down statues of Robert E. Lee as a “public nuisance.”