Cosby’s sitcom wife compared his struggle to that of Zora Neale Hurston whose legacy was tarnished due to false claims.
For eight years, Cliff and Clair Huxtable were every The Cosby Show fans’ surrogate parents. The doctor and lawyer couple, along with their brood of children, took viewers on adventures with their family every week, and while The Cosby Show has since been a beloved classic, it has also become controversial. The ongoing accusations against Bill Cosby have unfolded in recent years, and now the 83-year-old disgraced icon is serving three to 10 years in prison for aggravated indecent assault.
Cosby’s sitcom family has refrained from speaking about the accusations plaguing the TV dad—allegations that Bill Cosby has vehemently denied until this day. Phylicia Rashad, the legendary actress who portrayed Clair Huxtable, recently spoke with Bustle about Cosby’s controversies and was asked her thoughts on people who have shunned The Cosby Show.
“I don’t know why anybody would feel that way,” said Rashad. “I just don’t accept what somebody says because they say it, and they say it in a loud voice. The internet has given a lot of anonymous people a very loud voice. And this, too, has happened before.” She then brought up acclaimed author Zora Neale Hurston who Rashad said “died a pauper” because a “vindictive” neighbor accused Hurston of molesting her 10-year-old son. It wasn’t true as Hurston wasn’t even in the country at the time, but leaks to newspapers ruined Hurston’s reputation.
“You should go back and look at some charges that were brought up against her that didn’t make any sense,” Rashad added. “And look at what happened when the judge had thrown out the case, but it had gone through [Black magazines], through this step and the other, and her books were taken off the shelf.”
Cryptically, she continued: “And so I know what I know, and I just stay with what I know.vAnd it will happen in time, that this will come around another way, as it often does. And then people say, ‘Oh.’” This interview has caused a discussion on social media as some have expressed their disappointment in what seems to be her defense of Cosby, while others agree with her stance.