Cosby’s Epic End: America’s Dad in Disgrace

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Cosby’s Epic End: America’s Dad in Disgrace

Madison Copley, Junior Staff Writer

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At one time, actor Bill Cosby was touted as the perfect role model for all young black men or for all African-American families. Today Cosby is recognized as anything but that.  How did such a successful star nosedive to his present status of epic failure? Perhaps a look at his past and its present legal relevance should be considered.

Bill Cosby first started out as a comedian, then succeeded in the career of acting. He gained tremendous popularity from the late 60’s up through the 80’s, starring in well known movies such as Fat Albert, and TV sitcoms like The Cosby Show. He performed in numerous movies as well.  He was also a musician and an author; in fact, Cosby was a very successful celebrity. But he had many dark secrets that occupied those years–secrets that he knew could end his fame and destroy his career.  Possibly he thought he could get away with these offenses, but ugliness has a way of seeping through even the most protected cover up.

Cosby’s unexpected journey to his very public end began sometime in 2004, when accusations first became public. Then on June 5th, 2017, he was put on trial and eventually convicted of sexual assault. All his bad decisions and secrets resurfaced, for his victims finally decided to speak out.  There were a minimum of 60 women who testified against Cosby. 60 women whom Cosby supposedly victimized throughout his career. All these years later, they finally found the courage to speak out. In an era that is much less tolerant of male abuse, the public today is ready to listen, to stand up against the cruelty and exploitation that his victims suffered.

However, there are still those who defend his innocence, including Cosby himself.  According to sources, “Phylicia Rashad, 66, who played Claire Huxtable, the wife of Cosby’s character on “The Cosby Show,” clarifies remarks she made defending her former co-star. She says that in all the years she worked with Cosby, she never saw any of the behavior described by dozens of women. In an interview with ABC News, she says, ‘What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.’ “

So how does the public handle a controversy that is over 30 years old?  Does this violation have the same effect on society that it would have had back then? Cosby is suffering from an eye disease that is decreasing his chances of survival–and if he is to survive, he must live through his 3-10 year prison sentence. So this reporter poses a moral question to her readers: Is it right to throw a dying man in prison for crimes that happened that long ago? Does the statute of limitations exclude many of these cases? Yes, it does; however, Cosby could still face numerous civil suits. These questions have been tossed around in the media creating mixed emotions.

Darius Diehl, a senior at Hubbard High, believes that Cosby deserves to be in prison. He states, “He was a father figure back in the day, and it’s heartbreaking to see that he is actually guilty. But what he did was wrong; therefore, it’s only right he is punished for it.” Thanasi Papadopoulos, a senior, also believes that Cosby’s rightful place is in prison. “Cosby thought he could do whatever he wanted since he was rich and famous. Whether it was right or wrong, now he has consequences.”

   There are many different viewpoints on whether Cosby’s sentence was the right choice.   Was there a better, more appropriate choice than prison? A current HHS teacher, Mrs. Kathy Sacco, thinks so; she remarks: “The women who spoke up now, they’re not afraid anymore. They felt like it was the right time to say something because Cosby is weak. But I do have a hard time with the sentence. I grew up with him and his shows; he’s old, dying and blind. Maybe there was another way to punish him.”

Whether society believes Cosby was sentenced fairly, or he that he doesn’t deserve this harsh of a punishment at all, this legal decision affects everyone differently. If there is one thing Hubbard students can take away from this case, it is the idea that wrongdoings committed years and years ago can come back to haunt someone and destroy their present or potential future.




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