Over the holiday Bill Cosby released an incoherent message regarding the backlash against Phylicia Rashad, his former TV wife, received after she voiced her support once the court vacated Cosby’s sexual assault charge last week.
“FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” Rashad tweeted last Wednesday, accompanying a photo of Cosby holding up his fist. On Instagram, Rashad turned off her comments but it did not shield the fire, especially within the Black community where sexual assault survivors are rarely believed or heard.
Rashad, an incoming dean at Howard’s College of Fine Arts, has issued two apologies to survivors and Howard University community members, but Cosby decided to jump into the fray to condemn the media over the usage of free speech as well as placing blame on the media for the insurrectionists who illegally stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Howard University you must support ones Freedom of Speech (Ms. Rashad), which is taught or suppose to be taught everyday at that renowned law school, which resides on your campus,” he said in a statement sent by his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt, obtained by Deadline.
“This (sic) mainstream media are the Insurrectionists, who stormed the Capitol. Those same Media Insurrectionists are trying to demolish the Constitution of these United State of America on this Independence Day.”
“No technicality — it’s a violation of ones rights & we the people stand in support of Ms. Phylicia Rashad.”
It’s no surprise that Cosby spoke out on Rashad’s behalf, as his support in Hollywood wanes over dozens of sexual assault and harassment claims. On July 3, singer Stephanie Mills showed her support for Rashad in an Instagram post.
“I love you @phyliciarashad. If it’s true that Howard University wants to terminate her position because they feel her comments about Mr. Cosby were insensitive, then they should give back the millions of dollars that he donated to the university,” Mills wrote.
However, the second portion of his statement is also significantly striking as Cosby lays blame on media establishments instead of political figureheads like Trump who fanned the flames.
Howard University home to a bevy of talented Black entertainers, politicians, athletes, and entrepreneurs including Rashad, released a statement directly after Rashad’s tweet, distancing themselves from her public support.
“Survivors of sexual assault will always be our priority. While Dean Rashad has acknowledged in her follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, her initial 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 support their right to be heard. Howard will stand with survivors and challenge systems that would deny them justice. We have full confidence that our faculty and school leadership will live up to this sacred commitment.”
The arguments that Rashad should step down over her initial comments still wages on, on social media.