Would You Watch Re-Runs of The Cosby Show? | Lifestyle | KenyaBuzz

Would You Watch Re-Runs of The Cosby Show?

21 Apr 2015 | By Damaris Agweyu

Growing up, Sundays were special days. They were family days. They were the days mum made mandazis for tea. They were “The Cosby Show” days. Every Sunday evening, without fail, all seven of us would gather around the sitting room to watch our favourite TV family. Cliff, his wife Claire and their children Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy set the tone for what an ideal family was.

The Cosby Show was a an American sitcom which focused on an upper middle class African-American family, the Huxtables. It was rated as the number one show in America for five years, 1984 through 1989. It was funny and it was serious. Every episode had a lesson. It was, what they call, wholesome family entertainment.

But recent circumstances surrounding the lead character and producer of the show, Bill Cosby, make us look back at the perceived wholesomeness with a pinch of salt. Our beloved entertainer has been accused by not one, not two but at least 30 women of using his power in his heyday to sexually prey on them.

The accusations are yet to be proven in a court of law but they have had a profoundly negative effect on many 30+ year olds I know. We are reeling.  As well we should be, anyone accused of drugging and raping a woman would leave anyone reeling. It’s just that much worse, when it is Dr. Cliff Huxtable. Yes, we understand the importance of separating the art from the artist, but we are not talking about some ‘two-bob-celeb’ that will do anything to make the news here, we are talking about the respectable, highly accomplished actor, author and activist Bill Cosby, the man who changed television. The man who made our Sundays. The Cosby Show worked to a large extent by drawing on the moral authority of Dr. Huxtable and by extension Bill Cosby’s character.  It has become increasingly difficult to watch the show’s re-runs without having a wierd feeling.

It’s unfortunate that Cosby is being prosecuted in the court of public justice but that’s the world we live in- a world where courts of public justice tend to have a more damaging and lasting impact than courts of law. Since the accusations, Cosby has become something of a pariah. His donations over the years have been turned down, speaking engagements called off and TV shows cancelled. No one wants to be associated with the man. Except when they are talking about his scandals.

According to his TV wife, Phylicia Rashad (Claire Huxtable), this is the destruction of a legacy, orchestrated by someone. It would indeed be very sad if somebody was out to destroy Bill Cosby's legacy. But personally I would rather that than the alternative. Because the alternative is more than sad, it is heartbreaking, it changes too many things. 

What some of Bill Cosby's TV family had to say about the allegations levelled against him:

TV wife, Phylicia Rashad (Claire Huxtable):

“What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. 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. This show represented America to the outside world. This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?”

TV son, Malcolm Jamal Warner (Theo Huxtable):

“Just as its painful to hear any woman talk about sexual assault, whether true or not, its just as painful to watch my friend and mentor go through this. I cant really speak on any of the allegations because obviously, I was not there. The Bill Cosby I know has been great to me and great for a lot of people. What hes done for comedy and television has been legendary and history-making. What hes done for the black community and education has been invaluable. Thats the Bill Cosby I know. I cant speak on the other stuff.”

TV daughter, Keisha Knight Pulliam (Rudy Huxtable):

“I wasnt there. No one was there except for the two people who know exactly what happened. All I can speak to is the man that I know and I love. The fact that hes been such an example, you cant 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.”

So, in light of recent developments, would you still watch re-runs of The Cosby Show with as much enthusiasm as you did back then?

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