Are opinions even safe to have or offer anymore? Nowadays, it appears not to be the case. Celebrities especially constantly have to walk on eggshells as their commentary is seemingly combed through with a fine-toothed instrument and heavily scrutinized.
Frequently, the media misquoted or misconstrued the words of prominent figures. Such has been the case as it pertains to issues surrounding embattled comedian and actor Bill Cosby. For instance, many fans have anticipated what former cast members from the iconic sitcom The Cosby Show’s thoughts were on the many allegations surrounding the stand-up comedian. The alleged incidents would ultimately see Bill Cosby convicted in 2018 and sentenced to ten years in a Montgomery County prison in Pennsylvania. However, in 2021, the comedian’s sentence was commuted.
You may recall previous comments surrounding the case and trial from The Cosby Show. Cosby’s television wife, Phylicia Rashad, showed her support numerous times, including for his release, for which she received a whirlwind of backlash. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Bill Cosby’s youngest daughter on the sitcom, also showed her support for the embattled star. Keshia Knight Pulliam reflected on the man she knew to ABC News, remembering Cosby to be “funny, witty, smart, philanthropic, and full of advice.” Additionally, she touched on the public’s opinion and highlighted that everyone is “innocent until proven guilty of any crimes.”
Malcolm Jamal Warner, who played son Theodore Huxtable, has also shared his thoughts on Bill Cosby. The actor called Cosby one of his “mentors” in a 2015 interview with Billboard. He said it was “painful” to witness him face the intense fallout from all the allegations. However, Warner stated that the “Bill Cosby I know” doesn’t match the allegations. Instead, he spoke more about his legacy and the good he’d done both in the actor’s life and in the African American community. “I can’t speak on the other stuff,” the Grammy Award-winner said.
In another 2015 interview with AP News, Malcolm Jamal Warner spoke on the legacy of The Cosby Show, saying that it “can’t help but be tarnished.” Warner then spoke about his “biggest concern” being the stereotypical imagery of “people of color on television and film.” According to the actor, The Cosby Show was the answer to “hold up against that.” There were also conversations he’d had with Bill Cosby but chose to keep the details “private.”
However, over time Malcolm Jamal Warner quickly learned to watch his words as they often have been misunderstood. In an interview with The Wrap, the actor shared that he’s faced “situations where I’ve said one thing and people would take that statement and interpret it as I’m defending him.” In addition, Warner stated contrasting media outlets would take those same statements and view them as him “throwing [Cosby] under the bus.” “So, at some point, it’s like I can’t really say anything because, again, people are going to interpret it filtered through what they want to see,” said Malcolm Jamal Warner.
Since Bill Cosby’s release from behind bars, Malcolm Jamal-Warner has remained quiet publicly on the situation.