Bill Cosby defenders are in the minority these days, and now Phylicia Rashad, who worked with the comedian on “The Cosby Show” for eight years, said she was “misquoted” when she apparently slammed women who have accused him of rape. The actress spoke out after Twitter users said they were “disappointed” in her.
Her comments, apparently taken out of context, didn’t sit well with Twitter users. Type "Phylicia Rashad" into the search bar, and the first thing that comes up is "disappointed."
Some, citing her "Cosby Show" character, said “Clair Huxtable would never.”
So disappointed in Phylicia Rashad. Clair Huxtable would never.
— Nitya (@builtmydreams) January 8, 2015
Clair Huxtable would be very disappointed with Phylicia Rashad.
— Solomon Georgio (@solomongeorgio) January 7, 2015
I am so disappointed with what Phylicia Rashad has to say about the women who accuse Cosby of sexual attacks! #ClaireHuxtableWouldHaveNever
— saturngirl (@saturn_queen) January 7, 2015
Soooooooo disappointed ok phylicia rashad. Clair Huxtable would never say "forget these women"
— V (@_comeonoverval) January 7, 2015
Others took it a step further and said she was the reason people don’t believe rape victims.
Ugh. I'm disappointed in her. "Why don’t we believe rape victims? Because of people like Phylicia Rashad." http://t.co/N4cSesozkt
— Raymond Gan (@rgan0) January 8, 2015
A few people were succinct with their statements. “Tasteless” one said. A simple “disappointed,” another added.
Disappointed in Phylicia Rashad's choice of words in support of Cosby. Tasteless.
— Amanda Seales (@amandaseales) January 8, 2015
Phylicia Rashad has disappointed me.
— Natacia Knapper (@nknapper) January 7, 2015
What upset people was a Showbiz 411 interview that quoted Rashad saying, “Forget these women,” referring to Cosby's accusers, many of whom say the comedian drugged and raped them. “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated,” the interview quote continued. “I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”
After a backlash over her comments, Rashad tried to clear things up. "That is not what I said," she told ABC News Wednesday. "What I said is, 'This is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of legacy.' "
Roger Friedman, the Showbiz 411 reporter who interviewed Rashad, told Fox News that though the actress was not misquoted, her “forget these women” statement was taken out of context. “She meant, ‘those women aside’ -- as in, she’s not talking about that, she’s talking about Cosby’s legacy being destroyed. It was conversational,” he said. “Somehow this got twisted. I am really sorry if the way I presented it made it seem like either one of us was forgetting anyone.”
Though more than 20 accusers have come forward, Bill Cosby denies any wrongdoing. Even with high-profile accusers like Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson, the comedian called the claims “ridiculous.” The allegations have caused Cosby to be stripped of an honorary Navy title and for reruns of his hit show to be canceled, among other things.
Publicly in Cosby’s corner are his wife, Camille, daughter Evin and celebrities Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott.
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