Destroying the memories of the Cosby Show 49



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Bill Cosby’s allegations are said by some to be destroying the memories of one of the most significant television shows of the 80s, but according to others, that legacy is too strong to be destroyed.  How do you feel about the memories of the show today?

 Bill Cosby’s on-screen son, Malcolm-Jamal Warner has come out and spoken about how Bill Cosby’s assault allegations have damaged the legacy of The Cosby Show which he is keen to remind us all was a hugely positive show that corrected very harmful stereotypes in its time.  Do you feel that all that The Cosby Show did for the representation of racial integration will now be lost thanks to Bill Cosby’s alleged behaviour and the ongoing furore?

Warner played Theo Huxtable in The Cosby Show, and he spoke to The Associated Press this week, lamenting that the Cosby Show has depicted minorities in TV and film like others haven’t.  “We’ve always had ‘The Cosby Show’ to hold up against that.  And the fact that we no longer have that, that’s the thing that saddens me the most because in a few generations the Huxtables will have been just a fairy tale.”

Bill Cosby has been accused of an extraordinary number of offences from rape to drugging them, by more than 50 women according to  And Warner is sad for what has been lost in the Cosby’s legacy, and in the legacy of his own career too.  The show, which ran for 8 years from 1984 to 1992 is listed as “TV’s biggest hit in the 1980s, and almost single-handedly revived the sitcom genre and NBC’s ratings fortunes”.

Randy Miramontez /
Randy Miramontez /

“It’s just a bad situation all around — for him, for his family, the women, their families, the legacy of the show,” Mr. Warner said to AAP.

The Cosby Show was a show about the Huxtable family, an upper middle-class African-American clan, living in a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights, New York, at 10 Stigwood Avenue.   The patriarch is Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable, an obstetrician, son of a prominent jazz trombonist. The matriarch is his wife, attorney Clair Huxtable.  They had five children, four girls and one boy, Theo.

One of the daughters of the Huxtables, Rudy, played by Keshia Knight Pulliam,  said to Grio  “you can’t take back” the positive impact “The Cosby Show” had and continues to have on its fans.

In one of the first hearings on Cosby, a judge has ruled that three women who are claiming Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them will be able to sue the actor for libel as Cosby’s representatives said their accusations are baseless.  The three women cannot sue Mr Cosby over the sexual assault allegations due to the statute of limitations, but have instead sued him for libel because his representatives have said their challenge is “fabricated,” “ridiculous,” “absurd,”etc.  

U.S. District Judge Mark Mastroianni found on Friday that Cosby’s statements—amounting to an accusation that the women were fabricating their accounts of being raped—can be found true or false, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. What about the memories of the women he drugged and raped, do their memories not matter. I am afraid Cosby is the lowest of the low’s. But look after the show, stuff the show.

    4 REPLY
    • I disagree with you both all these women were involved with escorting or even covert prostitution they were very different times and they knew exactly why they were there – why else would you be in the Playboy Mansion? while these women put themselves on a plate for Cosby they can’t cry poor me now – the latest one failed in her bid to extort US$250,000 from Cosby. I believe them to be a bunch a trashy, low life women who are in this for the money. Incidentally I don’t excuse Bill Cosby I just think he is victim of his profession and the times. How many more are we going to see, the two men from Coronation Street both vindicated the world should be considering these cases based on the motivations and background of the women involved.

    • Ruth Sullivan were you there in the Playboy Mansion is that why you have such knowledge ? Nothing gives a person the right to drug and take advantage of anyone. That is like people saying ” How come victims took years to talk about child sexual abuse” unless you have been there YOU DON’T KNOW !!

    • I am appalled by your comments Ruth sullivan, what sort of woman would stand behind such an ANIMAL …….NO-ONE HAS THE RIGHT to drug a person and rape them!!!!!

    • Oh dear, Ruth. So quick to judge. What if it had been you or your daughter left with all the emotional damage that comes from being sexually abused. Definitely something you get over easily. And with women, like you, holding the flag up for the abusers what hope have these women got? Its not about the money, its about being heard, acknowledged so that the women can get some of their sef worth and self respect back on track. I wish them all the very best and hopefully their day in court.
      Make Cosby responsible for what pain he has dumped on these women.
      The power of his status and money has afforded him lawyers and minders to buy his way out of many sticky situations. I hope their is a God so that justice is served. X

  2. I think it is ridiculous to talk about the legacy of a sitcom. It was a tv show end of story. In my opinion it has no importance at all. I am pleased that some of these allegations are going to come before the court.

  3. Since when does the memory/legacy of make believe characters take precedence over the reality of horror and fear of women who have been treated so abhorrently? This attitude makes what happened even worse!
    I personally loved the show and thought it helped change a lot of attitudes, but Cosby should have thought of his reputation and not done what he did if he wanted to be remembered with dignity instead of disgust and mistrust. And he definitely should have had respect for women rather than feed his own sick desires.

    1 REPLY
    • That show was trying to get the message through that we should respect his people and I think that message did get through. He certainly didn’t show or have any respect for these women whom it is claimed he abused.

  4. Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire. I believe he’s already admitted to drugging some women. These so called celebrities think that because of there perceived status they are untouchable. If they do hold some status in this make believe world of TV sitcom, all the more reason they be held publicly accountable for their actions.

    1 REPLY
  5. If the former cast of the Cosbys are saying that the legacy of their show has been ruined, then they should be asking Bill Cosby, the criminal, why he ruined the legacy of their show, not anyone else.
    It’s only a show! Bill Cosby’s victims are real!

    3 REPLY
    • Bill Cosby has not been convicted of anything at all – just dealing with accusations of a group of women who want to get paid for their adventures. These women should be taking action against the agents who procured their services.

    • yes and they were paid well for their “roles” in that show over a long period of time… he is the one who has done the wrong… shows come and go…. they all moved on anyway… its a long time ago.

    • I agree with you Valz. Crosby obviously did so dreadful things therefore he is to blame. Just repulsive to think about!!!

  6. Only in America! Nowhere else on earth would anyone even consider putting a fantasy above reality. The man has yet to be proved guilty but I can’t see what the difference his guilt or innocence makes to the enjoyment, or lack of, of a TV series that finished years ago.

  7. Who cares about the legacy of the show !!! His attitude of doing what he wanted to get sexual satisfaction is gross . May he rot in hell.

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