Friday, November 21, 2014

Bill Cosby, the salesman...

I am as shocked as anyone else is about the emerging reports of Bill Cosby's alleged rapist tendencies.  I grew up watching him on TV.  First it was Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids and Picture Pages on Saturday mornings and The Electric Company in school.


Picture Pages


I still love the theme song to this show...


Bill Cosby and Skip Hinnant on The Electric Company...

And then there was the family friendly Cosby Show, which was a huge smash hit for my generation and widely hailed as "good TV".  I still love watching old episodes of that show, even remembering how Lisa Bonet basically got fired for being pregnant at age 20 with Lenny Kravitz's daughter, Zoe.  How family friendly was that move?


A classic scene from a classic show...

Of course I also remember the many product endorsements Bill Cosby did for Jello and Coke.



Man... I loved those damn things...


He even pitched "New Coke"...  a colossal flop!

It wasn't until years later that I read Janice Dickinson's book, No Lifeguard on Duty, that I had an inkling that Bill Cosby might not be the wholesome, lovable, family guy he was always portrayed to be on television.  I mean, sure, he starred in Leonard Part 6, which was a shitty movie, but I figured that was the worst of his sins.  But Janice Dickinson, who strikes me as a woman who has led a very painful existence that has hardened her somewhat, alleged in her book that Cosby was a jerk.  What she wrote in her book surprised and even shocked me.  I remember writing about it on Facebook and one of my more reasonable friends who is also my age defended Cosby.  

Three years later, Dickinson and several other came out with fresh accusations against Bill Cosby and his alleged penchant for drugging and raping women.  This comes at a time when 77 year old Cosby was trying to launch a new series on Netflix and had several projects that are now "on hold".  Cosby has never been one to shy away from controversy.  He famously pissed off a lot of people of color when he berated them for not "stepping up to the plate".  Below is a speech he made, but he also wrote an op-ed about this subject for the New York Post.  


Bill Cosby SPEAKS OUT about BLACK PEOPLE!!!! by rollingoutTELEVISION

But when it comes to addressing these serious accusations from women who claim he drugged and raped them, he has nothing to say.


Now, I get that his lawyers have probably told him not to talk about these accusations.  On the other hand, these women can't exactly prosecute Cosby in a court of law now.  There's no way any of their accusations can be proven.  However, I think that it's rather uncanny that they all seem to have similar stories.  And why would they come out of the woodwork now, when most of them have launched successful careers despite Cosby's alleged sexual attacks against them?  I doubt there will be much of a financial payoff for all of this, other than 15 minutes of fame.  And who wants to be famous because they were raped?  

Granted, there are some women who can parlay a bad situation like being raped into something positive.  Elizabeth Smart comes to mind.  Would she be in the place she's in now had she not been a victim of Brian Mitchell's and Wanda Barzee's?  Probably not.  I suspect she would have been very successful regardless, but I think it's very likely that she is doing the work she's doing now because of what happened to her when she was a young girl.  Her work is no doubt doing a lot of good for many, but she paid a huge price to get there... a price that no woman wants to pay for money, fame, and influence.  And besides, Elizabeth Smart has youth and beauty on her side.  The women who are accusing Cosby may still be beautiful, but none of them are really all that young anymore.

Not everyone thinks Cosby is guilty, either.  Here's another clip from The View, which shows Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell squaring off over the allegations.  Interesting that they brought up the n-word debacle that temporarily messed up Paula Deen's career.  I'm not sure dropping the n bomb, which Paula Deen did freely admit to doing, is quite the same as being accused of raping over a dozen women, which Cosby has not admitted to doing...  At the same time, I respect Whoopi's point, which is to be careful about jumping on bandwagons and rushing to judgment.  On the other hand, Cosby is probably one of Whoopi's friends and he is still a powerful man in the industry.  It may be in her best interest not to come out against Bill Cosby.


This situation also reminds me a little bit of Woody Allen's situation, although in that case, I side with Woody.  I think if he were really a child molester, there would have been many more victims than Dylan/Malone Farrow.  Moreover, Mia Farrow strikes me as a bit "cluster B", though I certainly can't say for sure that she is.  Anyway, in Woody's case, a timely investigation was carried out and there was never any evidence whatsoever that he ever abused his daughter.  He even took and passed a lie detector test.  Bill Cosby, by contrast, won't even discuss these accusations.  He acts as if he is above a response and these women are just trying to cash in.  And maybe he has a point, though this also reminds me a little of the whole Bill Clinton debacle with Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones.


And we know that Bill Clinton did, in fact, have relations with Monica...

  

The women who are accusing Cosby right now were mostly people who wanted to work in show business.  When Bill Cosby reached out to them and acted as if he thought they were talented, beautiful, and had a shot at the big time, they responded.  And maybe he felt like doing sexual favors for him was the price they needed to pay in order to hit the big time.  Or maybe he just saw them as dumb women.  Regardless, even if he's not guilty of these sordid accusations, he's definitely not the person he's made himself out to be.  How sad it is that he's being disgraced at this time of his life.  


Bill Cosby shills for Texas Instruments...  Does anyone still own one of these computers?  Bill Cosby claims "this is the one"...  Clearly, he's full of shit about that.

I'll say this for Bill Cosby.  He may have a doctorate in education, but deep down he's really a salesman.  And he sold America a load of bullshit for over five decades.  What a shame.


2 comments:

  1. I don't want to believe what I'm reading abut Cosby, but there seems to be overwhelming evidence. Seriously, Janice Dickinson? What was he thinking? It shows, I suppose, that non-consensual sexual domination of any kind is often more about power than about sex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, in fairness to Janice, that incident happened decades ago when she was still a "top model". And for many people, a person's disposition doesn't matter if it means they will get instant sexual gratification. After I read Janice's book, I actually felt kind of sorry for her. She had a very abusive father who molested her sisters and physically and emotionally abused her. You can see the end results now.

      Delete

Comments on older posts will be moderated until further notice.