If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that last year I wrote this post. Looking back, I think it’s obvious that I didn’t deeply consider the impact of watching The Cosby Show. However, in light (or perhaps “in spite“) of what we all know, I felt a strong push to say something. I was determined not to let one man’s actions ruin the legacy of a show that was a treasured part of my childhood.
At the time I wrote that I’d still watch The Cosby Show because it’s what I believed. I felt that I could without any qualms whatsoever. However, now, after giving the issue more thought, I know that that’s not entirely correct.
Since childhood, I’ve known there was a difference between a performer and his or her character. To this day I get irritated when I find out about people giving actors a hard time over the folks that they portray. I’ve even heard people who don’t understand acting make comments about horrible characters, in the vein of,”Can you imagine the type of person you’d have to be in order to play that scum?”
Enter Cliff Huxtable. I can’t help but think about how much everyone loved him. And then the allegations* began. Surely, this is is one of those cases when an actor’s behaviour has coloured his character–and not at all for the better.
I still know that Bill Cosby wasn’t The Cosby Show’s only star. I enjoyed the writing. The entire cast was—and is—clearly, talented.
That’s why when I saw this, all I could do is sigh.
I’m thankful for Goldie Taylor, who wrote the cover story, and I applaud Ebony’s editors. The magazine’s cover is painfully accurate. The allegations* against Bill Cosby have indeed shattered an illusion. The vision of the beautiful family that he led, as illustrated through The Cosby Show, has been forever marred.
I may smile as I reminisce over certain episodes. Yet if I had the chance today to see a Cosby Show rerun, I believe that whenever Mr. Cosby appeared, a chorus of “How could you?”s would fill my mind. My heart would be heavy.
As it should be.
*My use of the word “allegations” is not intended to insult Cosby’s victims. I use the term only as a technicality, since he hasn’t yet been charged with anything.
Photo Credit: Ebony magazine