Keshia Knight Pulliam Defends ‘The Cosby Show,’ Says The Legacy Shouldn’t Be Tarnished

Keshia Knight Pulliam, the actress who played Bill Cosby’s youngest child, Rudy, on The Cosby Show, has criticized the reactions to the sexual allegations levied against Bill Cosby with a slightly different angle.

Thirty-six-year-old Keshia Knight Pulliam once starred on The Cosby Show as the lovable and adorable youngest daughter of Bill Cosby’s TV family. The show was one of the biggest hits of all time. However, after several women came forward with claims that Bill Cosby sexually harassed them, The Cosby Show has found fewer takers.

Witnessing how the show was steadily getting dropped from syndication on a number of networks, Pulliam felt the series shouldn’t be negatively targeted just because the lead actor is embroiled in sexual allegations from multiple women.

Not defending the actor, but defending the show, she said, “You can’t take back the impact that it’s had on generations of kids, and it’s continuing to have such a positive impact on them. So I feel like the place that it has in people’s hearts is such a nostalgic part of childhood and beyond, it’s going to be difficult to take back those memories.”

Multiple women have stepped forward in the past few months claiming Bill Cosby sexually abused them. Though the majority of the women accused the veteran comedian of drugging them with powerful sedatives like Quaaludes, he has never been criminally charged. Bill Cosby has been strongly refuting any allegations and has maintained that whatever relations he had with some of these women, it was consensual.

Keshia Knight Pulliam played the youngest Huxtable child, Rudy, on The Cosby Show, which ran for eight consecutive years from 1984 to 1992. Despite the rather short run, it went on to become a huge hit, and much of the older generation today fondly remembers their time growing up with the light-hearted family comedy the show offered. However, ever since more and more women have been stepping in front of the camera to narrate their tales of sexual harassment at the hands of Bill Cosby, the overall perception of the beloved actor has plummeted.

Fearing the negative perception rapidly increasing towards Bill Cosby might hurt the network, many broadcasters have abruptly pulled The Cosby Show. Pulliam made it clear that she wasn’t defending Bill Cosby. She added that the man the public perceives Cosby to be today is not the person she knew growing up. Pulliam said Bill Cosby was quite philanthropic and charitable, reported Vibe.

“All I can speak to is the man that I know and I love. The fact that he’s been such an example, you can’t take away from the great that he has done. You know, the amount, the millions and millions of dollars that he has given back to colleges and education, and just what he did with The Cosby Show and how groundbreaking that was… Ultimately, they’re just that, allegations.”

According to CNN, the actress, whose latest project is a romantic comedy called Will to Love, reiterated her recent remarks that Cosby, who played her father on the beloved series, is not the man who now stands at the center of a major controversy.

“My comment doesn’t really change, because, still, regardless of how many… that’s just not the man I know. That’s not who I experienced. I never had that interaction with him, so I can’t speak to it.”

Bill Cosby has had multiple supporters in the past few months who strongly proclaim his innocence. However, the list of women accusing him has continued to grow, and at last count, stands a little higher than 50. But Keshia Knight Pulliam made it clear that the media’s reaction towards Cosby’s body of work is what bothers her.

[Image Credit | Theo Wargo, Al Levine / Getty Images]