Since Bill Cosby rape accusations resurfaced, many have wondered what will become of “The Cosby Show.” The television program had an exceptionally healthy syndication run, but many networks have pulled the reruns from their weekly line-ups in the wake of the scandal.
In their November cover story, Ebony examines the show’s legacy, which was single-handedly tarnished by Cosby, and explores what the future holds for the iconic television program. Goldie Taylor writes:
Debuting in September 1984, “The Cosby Show” was based on the stand-up comedy routines of Bill Cosby, already a celebrated Hollywood staple, and loosely mirrored his family life. For eight seasons on NBC—five of which it was the country’s most-watched program, according to Nielsen ratings—Cosby’s portrayal of Heathcliff Huxtable—a physician, loving husband and doting Black father-reinforced the widely held virtues of the nuclear family, if not also unwittingly illuminating the hazards of respectability politics (the notion that if Black people simply act “good” and “behave,” the world-at-large will treat them as such.)
Now, some three decades later, as Cosby stands accused of sexually assaulting at least 40 women, Black America is left to grapple with his once-unimpeachable legacy. If Bill Cosby is finished, what does that mean for Cliff, and the rest of the tribe called Huxtable?
While some find Ebony’s November cover to be brilliant and thought-provoking, others have slammed the publication and accused them tearing down the comedian and actor.