EBONY “The Cosby Show” Cover Garners Mixed Reviews

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EBONY’s latest cover story poses the question, Cliff-Hanger: Can ‘The Cosby Show Survive? Should It?’ The story explores the intensely complicated relationship between what some feel is a fallen icon, his most beloved character and the broken hearts of Black America.

Check out an excerpt from the story.

Nearly two decades after Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on Black life in America and in the midst of President Ronald Reagan’s “war on drugs,” network honchos at NBC took a huge gamble: They put a strong, loving and successful Black family on prime-time television.

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.)

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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?

Check out a few mixed reactions to the cover story.


Authored by: Kellie Williams