MITCHELL: Why fans stuck by Bill Cosby despite salacious allegations
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Black people are the most loyal people on the planet, especially when it comes to celebrities.
No matter how bad things look, black folks will stand by their man until the end.
Think R. Kelly.
But I get it. Throughout history, so many black men have been railroaded by the criminal justice system, there’s little to no reason to believe salacious allegations.
That’s good, and that’s bad.
For instance, the scandal involving Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is tearing through Hollywood like a hurricane. In the month since allegations of sexual harassment became public, Weinstein has been exiled — from his family and from the company he helped establish.
Bill Cosby was outed as a sexual predator in 2014, but a lot of performers were loath to criticize the iconic TV star.
“I’m respecting a man who has done more for the image of brown people [than] almost anyone EVER, From Fat Albert to the Huxtables,” singer Jill Scott tweeted.
She backed down a tad after a deposition showed Cosby admitted getting Quaaludes to give women.
“Sadly his own testimony offers PROOF of terrible deeds, which is ALL I have ever required to believe the accusations,” Scott tweeted
Always outspoken,“The View” moderator Whoopi Goldberg pointed out that Cosby was innocent until proven guilty.
“He has not been proven a rapist,” she said.
True, but no one’s pointing that out about Weinstein.
It only took a couple of brave women accusing Weinstein of lurid behavior, then other abusers began to fall like dominoes.
These men are not little fish. They are major players — Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey and Ben Affleck. Six women have now accused producer/actor Brett Ratner of sexual harassment, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The backlash led Hoffman, 80, to apologize for an act said to have happened three decades ago.
“I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am,” Hoffman told The Associated Press.
Spacey’s life has hit rock bottom since a colleague accused the actor of making unwanted sexual advances when the man was 14.
Another accuser, filmmaker Tony Montana, said Spacey publicly groped his genitals in 2003. Several other men also accused Spacey of inappropriate touching.
The impact of these allegations have been far-reaching. Netflix halted production of “House of Cards” after employees said Spacey made the set a “toxic” workplace, and one employee said he was sexually assaulted. Spacey’s publicist and his agent dropped him. The actor says he is now seeking “evaluation and treatment.”
Frankly, there should have been a great deal of outrage in the black community over the accusations against Cosby. He wasn’t just a comedian. He had set himself up as America’s father figure.
“I don’t care. I’ll drink the juice. I’ll drink the juice. I’ll take a nap. I don’t give a damn. But seriously, I would love for him to play my grandfather in something,” said Tiffany Haddish, the breakout star of “Girls Trip.”
Black people supported Cosby, but not because they are more tolerant of sexual harassment and assault. Black people continue to stand by him because they don’t trust the system.
When a judge declared a mistrial in Cosby’s sexual assault case last summer, it was treated as if the mistrial were a victory.
Instead, it was a testament to how difficult these cases are to prove after so many years have passed. Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University, said Cosby had drugged and molested her in 2004. Cosby said the sex was consensual.
A new trial is now set for April 2018.