Bill Cosby Arrest Draws Battle Lines In The African-American Community

For every rise there, is a fall, but not everyone is taking comedian Bill Cosby’s fall from grace well. There’s doesn’t seem to be room for uncertainty or middle ground when it comes to Bill Cosby and the fifty-one women that accused him of sexually assaulting them.

On opposite sides
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According to Radar Online, actress Lark Voorhies, known for the 1990’s sitcom Saved by the Bell, condemned Cosby and called any attempt to defend him “unimaginary and unacceptable” and like defending “the devil himself.”

On the other side, TVGuide reports that comedian Eddie Griffin recently defended Cosby. Griffin believes that the accusations against Bill Cosby are just a systematic attempt to destroy another African-American entertainer’s image. Griffin went on to say that no African-American entertainer leaves the entertainment business with their reputation enact.

Griffin is not alone. On January 2, Youtuber Dj Lethal Vybz posted a five minute rant on the Cosby rape allegations. Dj Lethal Vybz called the allegations in an attempt by the “white supremacy” to take down Cosby. Dj Lethal Vybz likened Cosby’s fall from grace to similar falls suffered by Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, both prominent African-American performers whose final years were mired in scandal. Dj Lethal Vybz also compared Cosby to Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy who was lynched in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

“Bill Cosby tried to by NBC a couple of times, and they slammed the door in his face. Because he was ready to open the door for brothers and sisters.”

Before the fall
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The rumor that Bill Cosby tried to purchase NBCUniversal made the rounds on Facebook shortly after his arrest. Usually, the rumor is stated as a reason the entertainment industry, run almost exclusively at higher levels by Caucasians, would want to tarnish Bill Cosby’s image and legacy. In fact, Bill Cosby did try to buy NBC, twenty-three years ago.

According to a 1992 article in the New York Times, Bill Cosby’s then-manager, Norman Brokaw, announced that he’d made an offer on Cosby’s behalf to purchase NBC. At the time, NBC’s ratings put it at a distant third, behind ABC and CBS. According to Classic TV, of the top 20 prime time shows in 1991, 5 aired on NBC. Two, A Different World and The Cosby Show, were long-running series created and produced by Bill Cosby. But even those two shows were aging poorly, both falling from No. 4 and No. 5 respectively in the 1990-1991 season, to below the Top 10 in the 1991-1992 season.

By contrast, according to Nielsen, five of the Top 10 shows airing during the week ending on December 14, 2015, aired on NBC.

At no point did rumors suggest that Bill Cosby intended to purchase NBC outright. In fact, the New York Times states that Cosby hoped to use his name and reputation to put together a deal with other investors. It’s not clear why the sale didn’t go through, but there are several possible factors. First, there is nothing to suggest that General Electric, the corporation which owned NBC at the time, intended to sell the network. The article seems to suggest that the deal was dead when Brokaw announced it, and the announcement was made as a last ditch effort to get the deal going again.

In the end, General Electric did sell NBC, but not until thirteen years later when another corporation, Comcast, purchased a controlling stake in the company, then known as NBCUniversal.

The reality is Bill Cosby had a wonderful and storied career, that was mostly behind him by 2014 when the rumors began. Ultimately, the charges mean that Bill Cosby will get what so many people on both sides have demanded: his day in court.

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