TheRoot.com, By J.L. Cook, Posted July 7th 2021
The actor and dean of Howard University’s College of Fine Arts was roundly criticized for celebrating her on-screen husband’s early release from prison.
Days after jumping out the entire window and celebrating the overturning of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction on Twitter, Phylicia Rashad has offered her “most sincere apology” to the students and parents of Howard University–where she has served as dean of its College of Fine Arts since May.
On Friday, according to CNN, the actor sent out a written mea culpa for tweeting “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” as reports of her on-screen husband and longtime friend being released early from his three-to-10 year prison sentence circulated Wednesday.
“My remarks were in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault. I vehemently oppose sexual violence, find no excuse for such behavior, and I know that Howard University has a zero-tolerance policy toward interpersonal violence,” Rashad wrote.
Not only was Rashad taken to task about her tone-deaf comments by Howard alumni and other celebrities like Janet Hubert, Howard itself condemned Rashad’s tweet, saying in part that it “lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault.” The offending tweet has since been deleted from Rashad’s Twitter page, and she tweeted this as a response to the controversy:
“I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.”
The Washington Post reports that Rashad’s letter mentioned that she plans to participate in trainings to “become a stronger ally.”
It’s important to note in all of this that the reason the Cos was released early from prison, and the reason his 2015 sexual assault conviction was overturned, was due to a technicality–not because he is innocent of drugging and raping Andrea Constand or any of the 59 other women that have accused him doing the same thing to them. It’s important to note easily researchable fact about his case again and again because people like Rashad, or that human Pringles man Geraldo Rivera and Cosby himself gloss over it with any opportunity they get.
And while it seems unlikely that anyone would want to work with him, as The Root previously written about, Cosby apparently doesn’t have any plans to stay out of the spotlight and allow himself to disappear into the void of obscurity.
From The Philadelphia Inquirer:
After the surprise decision a day earlier by the state’s highest court to toss his sexual assault conviction and bar prosecutors from trying him again, the 83-year-old comedian spent the evening fielding congratulatory calls from his celebrity pals and noshing on pizza brought in from Zio’s in Center City.
“He stayed up until 2 in the morning telling jokes,” his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt told reporters camped outside his home Thursday morning. “This morning, he’s been talking to a number of promoters and comedy club owners over his breakfast this morning. … He’s just excited the way the world is welcoming him back.”
Whether Hollywood — and the American public — are ready to receive him, though, remains an open question.
A Bill Cosby redemption tour is easily a top-5 entry on the list of “Things Ain’t Nobody Trying to See or Hear.” Not only because of the circumstances, but also because that man has not said or done anything remotely funny since the early 1990s. That all ended with Ghost Dadand his whole respectability politics kick.
Working for the weekend (on the weekend)