Well, the public finally got Phylicia Rashad’s opinion on the Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations. Unsurprisingly—like many of his friends and family members—she is defiantly defending the Jell-O man and discrediting his accusers.

Rashad, who played Cosby’s onscreen wife Clair Huxtable for 12 years, held her tongue about the heat her costar is facing until earlier this week. The actress told Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman, “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy ... I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that’s so important to the culture.”

She also responded to claims made by models Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson with a dismissive “oh, please” before bring up Cosby’s real-life wife Camille. Camille, she said, is "too tough" of a woman to have overlooked Bill's alleged behavior (as though his wife would have nipped his penchant for raping women in the bud before it became a real problem). 

We all make excuses for people we know and care about—especially when we have only seen the good side of what they show to the world. But with so many allegations aimed in his direction, it's impossible to believe that Bill Cosby is a blameless victim. We don’t know Cosby. We don't know Rashad. But we do know that it's destructive to invalidate the stories of his female accusers so flippantly and flagrantly.

So while Rashad is defending the legacy of traditional American family at the center of “The Cosby Show,” she is also undermining the real women and real families that have been victimized by sexual abuse. Because Bill Cosby is not an upstanding man: He just played one on television.

Image via Flavorwire

Marissa is an NYC-based writer who loves feminism, doughnuts, and being outside. She's not a huge fan of writing personal bios, but she does love writing pretty much anything else. Read more of her work at marissadubecky.com and follow her on Instagram at @marissa_aleta

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