Theme park caricature sample circa 1998
All the accusations of rape being leveled at legendary humorist Bill Cosby are really shocking. I’d like to believe they are not true, but with so many of them coming from women with really no motive to speak out other than to let people know the truth, they just cannot be ignored. Couple that with Cosby’s bizarre refusal to say anything about the accusations…no denials, no explanations, no comments whatsoever…it looks very bad. These accusations are extremely serious, there are a LOT of them, and they are coming from women who are very believable.
Bill Cosby has always been one of my favorite humorists. I used to wear out his albums when I was a kid. I enjoyed his long-running TV show. I admired that he never had to resort to swearing or “blue” material for cheap laughs like many comedians do. He was a wholesome, family-orientated comic whose routines could be enjoyed with your kids and your grandparents at the same time, with everybody laughing in equal measure. He helped break the color barrier in television. He was an icon. That’s what makes this so shocking. It’s like finding out the church volunteer who spends every day serving soup and handing our blankets to the homeless is a serial killer. If Cosby did these things he’s the worst sort of human being. All that said, these rapes are not terrible because the person being accused is Bill Cosby, they are terrible because it’s rape and whether it was done by one of the most family friendly, wholesome comedians in history or some anonymous creep living in an abandoned shack out in the woods, it’s a horrible, unforgivable act.
Since he seems unwilling to even address these accusations with his side of the story (whatever that could possibly be), the only part of this I can see being even remotely in his favor is the question of how so many of these attacks could have happened for so long without his ever even being charged. That’s a thin to non-existent defense… lack of enough prosecutable evidence is not the same as being not guilty. Unless Bill Cosby can come up with a believable explanation for these accusations, and I do not see what could possibly explain it away, he has no defense. Maybe that’s why he’s staying mum…he has no explanation because there is none. The damage being done to his reputation, his legacy and his career is firmly in his lap, because he won’t speak up and defend himself. Some people might call that unfair, but this isn’t one or two people popping up making accusations and then doing the talk show circuit, announcing a book deal or a reality show. It’s many women, with accusations going back almost 10 years, with little or nothing to gain.
I’m a firm believer in “innocent until proved guilty”, but in some cases that only applies to someone being incarcerated or not. What needs to happen here is someone needs to bring charges against Bill Cosby and give him and his accusers their day in court. The longer that does not happen, the less compelling these accusations become. I hope that day in court comes soon and some closure happens here, one way or the other.
745 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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