Phylicia Rashad Sparks Backlash for Defending Bill Cosby’s Prison Release

Former “Cosby Show” co-star called Cosby’s conviction “a miscarriage of justice” on Wednesday

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Phylicia Rashad, known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the classic 1980s sitcom “The Cosby Show,” is taking some serious heat for voicing her support about her former co-star Bill Cosby’s release from prison Wednesday after Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court overturned his 2018 conviction on sexual assault charges.

Rashad took to Twitter on Wednesday to celebrate Cosby’s release after serving three years on a three- to 10-year sentence. “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” she tweeted.

Rashad, who turned comments off on her post, is the rare voice of support for Cosby amid the news.

However, that didn’t stop people from ripping the actress’ “horrible enabler’s take.”

Three hours later, Rashad tweeted a follow-up, explaining her post “was in no way intended to be insensitive” to survivors of sexual assault. She added that she had “friends and family” who experienced abuse.

Rashad, a beloved figure who last month was named dean of Howard University’s newly renamed Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, was taken to task for her public support of her former co-star despite accusations of misconduct from more than 60 women.

“Phylicia’s response here is not surprising but it is disappointing, given her role as an academic dean charged with the welfare of her students, some of whom will be survivors,” journalist Victoria M. Walker wrote.

Below, see some notable reactions to Rashad’s initial tweet, including from journalist Sil Lai Abrams, who previously accused music mogul Russell Simmons of rape.

In addition to her deanship at Howard University, Phylicia Rashad is a featured performer on NBC’s “This Is Us” and is expected to star in the upcoming “Creed” sequel directed by star Michael B. Jordan.


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