I have been following this situation for years.
No, I am not saying this because I wanted to be ahead of the trends; I am being completely honest.
As a young model/actress/dancer in the Philadelphia area; working with Cosby was the biggest break one could get. Many agencies clamored at the opportunity to work with him. I heard his name whispered as potential opportunity under my former teacher’s name. For years I wondered why this chance to be on TV wasn’t lamented.
It all came together during all of the current hoopla over Bill Cosby.
You see, I always knew about his actions; mainly because the industry was know for being predatory towards young women. Back when I heard the “Cosby Show” whispered I was very young…much younger than the women accusing him. My teacher protected her girls. I was the youngest in the agency; however I do remember some of the older girls leaving/ changing after the Cosby opportunity was mentioned.
Being trained to be in show biz you are often told you are expected to sell sex as a young woman. You are told favors may be asked for you to get far. What isn’t exactly taught is how to deal with those requests.
As time went on I paid attention to how the girls in the age group who could have been victims were often looked at for sex. Some of those girls ended up having ties to me through people I knew at church. Many of those girls are no longer the same people.
Cosby has this aura about him and he comes off as someone who feels they can do no wrong. Anyone who had the pleasure of having him attend their graduation (looking at Temple University alumni now) can tell you he was there but not “there”. Felt like he attended ceremonies out of obligation over anything else.
Let’s be honest; the major factor in the most recent development in the case was Temple University pulling support from him. Months ago I told people the moment that happened he would be exposed from legal action of that ever happened. For those who have not looked into the woman with enough evidence to have a case move forward on Cosby you must know one piece of key evidence…she was an employee at Temple University.
So, now that I have provided a little bit of “hometown” perspective to the situation; I must address to the points provided in the conspiracy theory corner:
- The NBC purchase attempt has nothing to do with this. That happened roughly twenty years ago; these allegations began well before this.
- His accusers spoke out at various times; they did not wait until now to speak out. It took a comedian to joke about it to make it known outside of the areas Cosby did business.
- This is not a case of people trying to bring down a “good man“. Good men will not sleep around while married. Good men will not carry around drugs to give to women much younger than they are. Good men will not use predatory methods to place younger women in compromising situations in order for those women to catch a break.
- His actions were accepted back then due to power and wealth as well as the nature of the industry. In our parents lifetime it was acceptable for the N word to be used in common business language. This is the same concept.
- No, I wasn’t there during the actions in question. I was in the business and knew of these instances well before social media ad the internet was readily accessible. Each story has the same elements. No one questions why these meetings were so sketchy? All these women had representation; yet the meetings happened without them. If you look at the Cosby kids success stories that was the main way he handled his talent. Google a few of the actresses you know from his shows ad find their interviews in which they discuss how they were “discovered”.
- Look at how Cosby handled Lisa Bonet. His actions surrounding her pregnancy and Playboy spread is a sharp contrast to how he actually conducted HIMSELF in real life.
- Talent, wealth and power are not ways to decipher a good black man. We have already seen the push back for R. Kelly (who has a TAPE of his having sex with an under age girl and legal documents of a marriage to one as well). Cosby was on the front line of the “black people need to exercise restraint” movement; however could not practice what he preached. To compare this situation to another; how do you feel about Bristol Palin?
Now that I have that all off my chest; I can also say I do not see him being convicted. Although he has admitted to drugging women and having sex with them (on his side I am sure he saw it as sex; on the side of the drugged women who could not give consent this was rape) I cannot see this ending in a conviction. Actions such as the ones Cosby admitted to is still very much accepted. As long as a black man gives SOMETHING back to black people his sins will often be overlooked. As long as woman are expected to be objectified this will continue to happen. The difference here is when a boss in corporate America implies he wants sex for a woman to get ahead; there are laws in place to protect the woman. In the arts; there is no such protection.
Bill Cosby will forever hold a place in the hearts of America as the perfect portrayal of the perfect black family. Cosby gave a number of black actors a chance and it appears he placed all actresses through a different screening.