Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Bill Cosby‘s TV son on “The Cosby Show,” appeared on “The View” on Friday and clarified his stance on the classic sitcom’s legacy. He had previously said that its legacy had been “tarnished” by the sex scandal currently surrounding Cosby in an interview with the Associated Press last week.
During his “View” appearance, Warner said that the majority of the interview had been about his music, and he was hit with the “Cosby Show” question at the end.
“I said, ‘Of course it can’t help but be tarnished, because it’s no longer on the air, it’s been pulled off the air,” Warner said, referring to the withdrawal of reruns of the sitcom by a number of stations in the wake of the scandal.
Warner went on to lament that the absence of “The Cosby Show” has struck a blow to the depiction of minorities on television.
“When we had images that perpetuate the negative stereotype of people of color, we’ve always had ‘The Cosby Show’ to hold up against that, and the fact that we no longer have that kind of leaves us not in a great place in terms of having the wide scope of the images of people of color,” Warner said.
“Keshia Knight Pulliam said a really interesting thing in that her perspective is the legacy cannot be taken away because all of the good that that show has done cannot be taken away,” Warner offered. “The generation of people of color who have chosen to go to college because they watched that show and because they watched ‘Different World,’ you can’t take that away. And I think that was a really good point.”
Added Warner, “That’s a show that we’re all very proud to have been on.”
In the past year, Cosby has been accused of sexual assault or rape by dozens of women, many of whom claim that the comedian drugged them beforehand. Cosby has been hit with multiple lawsuits in the wake of the scandal. His attorney, Martin Singer, has denied the allegations, and Cosby has not been criminally charged.