Phylicia Rashad attracts criticism and dismissal requires defending Bill Cosby


Phylicia Rashad has discovered herself embroiled in controversy after expressing public assist for Bill Cosby’s launch from jail, with some outstanding Black voices calling for her dismissal as dean of Howard College’s Faculty of Superb Arts.

It stays to be seen whether or not Rashad’s place at Howard is in jeopardy, however the college shortly distanced itself from her feedback.

Rashad, who performed Cosby’s spouse for years on the household sitcom The Cosby Present, was named dean of the school with nice fanfare this yr. Cosby was launched from jail on Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court docket overturned his sexual assault conviction, ruling that Cosby’s settlement with the earlier district legal professional in 2005 ought to have prevented him from being charged within the 2018 case.

After the ruling, Rashad tweeted an image of Cosby, with the message: “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”

The tweet drew a right away on-line response with a couple of expressing assist however many others attacking Rashad for defending a person accused of drugging and raping a number of girls over a interval of many years.

Among the harshest critics known as for Rashad to be faraway from her publish, saying her obvious indifference to serial sexual assault allegations made her unfit for a place of authority over college students.

Jelani Cobb, a Columbia College journalism professor and frequent New Yorker journal contributor, tweeted on to Howard College, bluntly stating: “This person should not be a Dean.”

Rashad’s assist for Cosby will not be new. She had publicly defended him throughout his years-long authorized battles. However the rise of the #Metoo motion and her new place at a outstanding instructional establishment has contributed to the extraordinary backlash as Cosby goes free.

Hours after her tweet on Wednesday, Rashad despatched out a clarification, stating her sympathy for all survivors of sexual assault however not mentioning Cosby or his case.

“I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth,” she wrote. “Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.”

In an announcement, Howard acknowledged Rashad’s clarification and stated her preliminary tweet “lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault. Personal positions of University leadership do not reflect Howard University’s policies. We will continue to advocate for survivors fully and advocate their right to be heard.”

Rashad is a outstanding Howard alumnus, and her appointment as positive arts dean was hailed as a homecoming, with Howard Provost Anthony Ok. Wutoh stating that her “passion for the arts and student success makes her a perfect fit for this role.”

Cosby, 83, had served practically three years of a three-to-10-year sentence for drugging and violating Temple College sports activities administrator Andrea Constand in 2004. After his launch, he tweeted that he has all the time maintained his innocence and thanked his followers, supporters and mates who stood by him.

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