By Michele Genzardi
Bill Cosby for many has been a comedian, an actor, a civil rights activist, and for some he was a monster, an accused rapist, the man that has haunted their dreams.
But that isn’t the story Cosby, or Hollywood wants you to see, they hope the charade that has worked for the last 30 years will continue to fool us into believing that Cosby is as one website puts it, “quite simply, a national treasure.”
Even now as legal documents emerge showing Cosby admitted, under oath to drugging women he wanted to have sex with by using Quaaludes, they still hope we as the public will see it only has a man engaging in consensual, and recreational drug use. Of course drug use is a black mark, on a record Cosby hoped to keep clean, but that is forgivable.
But rape, and rape of more than 40 women, is harder to look past, or forgive.
So the Cosby camp works to be sure we don’t look into it, that we don’t investigate it ourselves, and simply cling to the squeaky clean image of the Cosby Show.
His co-star Phylicia Rashad dismissed the claims, stating “what you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy, and I think it’s orchestrated”. Whoopi Goldberg, called it all “bull” reminding us that he is innocent in the court of law.
And she’s right he is, he hasn’t been, and most likely he never will face charges, since most of the statute of limitations have run out. But is he not facing charges because he is innocent, or because he is a man, of wealth who was able to buy enough silence to ensure his freedom?
Many of his victims, spoke of his power in the industry, stating if they spoke out, their careers would have perished.
We know Cosby reached settlements with some of these women, he bought their silence. Others he gave college trusts to, ensuring once again that they wouldn’t speak.
Today as more and more evidence mounts against him, Hollywood for the most part has remained mum. Judd Apatow however, remains one of the most vocal Cosby critic “I don’t think there is anything new here. It is only new to people who didn’t believe an enormous amount of women who stated clearly that he drugged them. We shouldn’t need Bill Cosby to admit it to believe 40 people who were victimized by him”
He also asked, would the silence continue, urging Hollywood to finally talk, to support these 40 women.
Patti Masten a Cosby victim spoke of him raping her, she also said she told her employers, the Playboy Club, and was told that Cosby was good friends with Hugh Hefner and she needed to shut her mouth. So she did remaining silent for years, until she and others mustered the courage to speak up.
Rape needs to stop being this hush hush crime, we as a society need to stop enabling the rapists, and making excuses for their behavior.
Bill Cosby isn’t an actor, or a comedian, he is at least a man who used money and power to have sex with young, impressionable women, and at most he is a rapist, accused of over 40 sexual assaults.
The silence has lasted long enough. Now is the time for actions, for answers, and for Hollywood to finally denounce the charade Cosby tried to live for so long.
He doesn’t deserve to be remembered for his show, or for his comedic talent. He deserves to be remembered for his actions. It’s time we lift the veil of Hollywood, look beneath the veneer of the glitz and glamour and demand the truth.
We need to start using our voices to stand in solidarity with the victims, and cast the long overdue light on Cosby, to see him for what he truly his.
Michele Genzardi lives in San Antonio Texas with her husband, three kids and her dog, she is a nomad and gypsy traveler at heart, a writer who also loves photography. She is a history nerd and bookworm, who loves to sink her toes into nature.
Editor: Ty H Phillips
Photo: (AP/Kay Nietfeld)