Malcolm-Jamal Warner Proud Of The Impact ‘The Cosby Show’ Had On Black Culture Despite Bill Cosby’s Sexual Abuse Scandals
Bill Cosby’s television son, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, believes “The Cosby Show” changed the game of sitcoms.
As you may know, “The Cosby Show” came to an end about three decades ago, however, the series is still often talked about today. During a recent interview, Malcolm-Jamal Warner shared that he feels the sitcom is a staple in comedic family television.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Theodore Huxtable in the series, said:
“What made it so groundbreaking was its universality.”
Warner, 52, added:
“NBC initially saw it as a show about an upper-middle-class Black family. Mr. [Bill] Cosby diligently impressed upon them that the show was about an upper-middle-class family that happened to be Black.”
“The Cosby Show” aired for eight seasons between 1984 and 1992, winning six Emmys during its time on NBC.
The actor explained:
“Prior to The Cosby Show, Black sitcom humor was predicated on being Black, the specificity of the ‘Black’ experience. Though the Huxtables were clearly Black — reflected quite obviously by their dress, the Black art on the walls, the music — the family issues all were universal. And though Cliff [Cosby] was a doctor and Claire [Phylicia Rashad] was an attorney, the family dynamic was one that practically every family — no matter the ethnicity, socio-economic status or even family makeup — could find something to relate to.”
Actor/comedian Bill Cosby’s legal troubles have changed the way many people view the sitcom. As previously reported, In April 2018, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and was ultimately sentenced to three to ten years in prison. However, due to reported violations of his due process rights, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the conviction, which led to the actor being released in June 2021.
Despite Cosby being released from handcuffs, he now faces a new sexual assault lawsuit from five women. In December, the alleged victims, Lili Bernard, Eden Tirl, Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson, and Cindra Ladd claimed the 85-year-old acted sexually assaulted them as they worked to enter showbiz in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The plaintiffs noted that Cosby took advantage of them due to their age at the time and their vulnerability.
Eden Tirl, who played a cop on “The Cosby Show,” said she was “escorted” by one of the employees on set to the comedian’s dressing room. She alleged he locked the door, grabbed her breasts, kissed her neck, and pressed his penis into her back while whispering “this is making love.” Jewel Gittens accused Cosby in the suit of drugging and assaulting her in his residence amid discussing a possible role for her on his show. Jennifer Thompson claimed that he forced her to masturbate him and Cindra Ladd accused him of raping her after giving her a pill for a headache that made her pass out.
Despite the latest allegations against “The Cosby Show” star, Warner is still proud of the show’s legacy.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner said:
“Regardless of how some people may feel about the show now I’m still proud of the legacy and having been a part of such an iconic show that had such a profound impact on — first and foremost, Black culture — but also American culture.”
“While one of the initial criticisms of the show was that Black people didn’t live like the Huxtables, I was getting thousands of letters on the regular saying, ‘Thank you for this show. Our family is the Huxtables, my dad is a doctor, and my mom is a lawyer.'”
“The show shed light on the previously ignored Black middle class, which has always existed.”
“And people in Cliff and Claire’s generation were often the first in their families to ever go to college, many of them becoming doctors and lawyers, like Barack and Michelle Obama. There’s even an argument that the show laid the groundwork for having a Black President of the United States.”
“I know I can speak for all the cast when I say The Cosby Show is something that we are all still very proud of. We share a unique experience that keeps us lovingly bonded no matter how much time goes between seeing or hearing from each other.”
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