Bill Cosby is usually described as an African-American cultural icon and many comedians today claim to be inspired by him. However, there is also a dark and sinister reality behind the success and glory of Cosby’s glittering career.
The comedian has been charged with numerous sexual assault charges that range all the way from 1960s-when he began his career all the way up to 2008. According to Wikipedia, approximately 60 women have accused the comedian of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct.
‘We Need to Talk About Cosby’: An Attempt at Unearthing the Truth
‘We Need to Talk About Cosby’, is a 2022 four-part documentary series by W. Kamau Bell. The series aims to explore the life of the man known as “America’s Dad” and to attempt to reveal the truth behind the plethora of sexual allegations against him.
Bell invites journalists, comedians, Cosby victims and educators in order to account for the alleged crimes by the actor/comedian. The Showtime documentary series is considered to ‘wrestle with a fractured legacy’ by Vulture. Since Cosby is a huge African-American icon, the fact that an illustrious legacy as a comedian and actor has to be contrasted with the sexual misconduct charges makes people ‘wrestle’ with the idea of admiring a childhood hero with the actuality of him being a villainous sexual predator.
A consistent theme in ‘We Need to Talk About Cosby’ is the amount of breadcrumbs Bill Cosby left throughout his career. These incidents, like the one on Larry King Live in 1991 where only a ‘pin-drop’ amount of ‘Spanish fly’ was needed to make a woman sleep with one and many more serve as ‘breadcrumbs’ of his illicit behavior. Many other such incidents are portrayed in the series and in the words of Kierna Mayo, “Bill Cosby, it seems to me, has been leaving something like breadcrumbs all throughout his career, pointing to his guilty conscience.”
The Response From the Black Community.
The black community, especially, is significantly affected by the notorious behavior of the 84-year-old. A man who rose from a minority into one of the biggest television stars of the 20th century was bound to garner respect and admiration from his race.
‘We Need to Talk About Cosby’ director W. Kamau Bell, who himself is a black comedian, describes the entire Cosby affair as “complicated”. Also described as a ‘center of morality’ at first, the cast on the series soon state their interactions/accounts of the infamous star and expose the startlingly dark reality.
Now that Bill Cosby has retired and has many of his honors and degrees revoked, there is still the mental blight on people’s minds about the behavior of a very important cultural entity. The influence of Bill Cosby is by no means limited, whether it is through his work in Fat Albert, The Cosby Show and I Spy or his criminal record and the numerous cases of sexual indecencies.
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