Phylicia Rashad, who starred alongside Bill Cosby for many years, is receiving backlash following her celebratory tweet on Bill Cosby’s release from prison after his rape conviction was overturned. She is especially being slammed for her comments by fellow actress Janet Hubert.
“FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” Rashad, who played Cosby’s wife on the sitcoms The Cosby Show and Cosby, said in a tweet.
People on social media immediately criticized her, saying she is invalidating the accounts of the 60 women who came forward and accused Cosby of assault.
Rashad eventually responded, saying, “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.”
Despite her second statement, many still expressed disappointment in her comments, including fellow actress Janet Hubert, who is known for playing Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
“Phylicia what are you thinking!!! I don’t know you but to say this was terribly wrong. EVERYONE knew what he was doing back then. How could you NOT!” she took to Twitter. “Get your umbrella sista here comes the shit shower. I am outraged that he has been released. Yes, he is an old ass guilty man!”
“I would have said he’s old he’s out and I’m happy for him, but he still …guilty,” she continued. “I know 5 women who have not come forward. Enough Ya’ll we know better. Powerful men do wrong things, black or white…”
Since posting her controversial tweet, there have been calls for Rashad’s resignation or removal from her new appointment as the Dean of Fine Arts at Howard University. Even the University itself called her tweet “insensitive”.
In 2018, Cosby was convicted on 3 counts of felony sexual assault and sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison. However, he is now a free man after being behind bars for only 2 years thanks to a decision in his favor by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. An agreement with a previous prosecutor apparently prevented him from being charged in the case.