Santa Claus

Way back in late 2014 I wrote a post about the time that I went to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC where I saw the personal art collection of Bill and Camille Cosby on display. Ironically that collection went on public display around the same time as all those allegations that Bill Cosby has been drugging and raping women as early as 1965 began to surface. Given the sheer number of women who have come forward and given nearly identical testimony, I found it very hard to write them off as crazed fans who dreamed up sexual assault as a way of getting at the object of their obsessions. You could make that argument about one or two people. But it’s way harder to dismiss up to 51 women as being delusional crazed fans who are making up a hateful story about a well-regarded celebrity like Bill Cosby.

I wrote another post eight months later when a deposition that Bill Cosby gave nearly 10 years earlier came to light. I used that occasion to highlight something I saw at that Smithsonian art exhibit that I was thought was totally ironic given the situation. (Mainly an anti-rape t-shirt that once belonged to Cosby’s late son and had been made into a quilt.)

Despite all that, I honestly thought that Cosby would never see a courtroom or jail time for any of those rapes simply because nearly all of them were never reported. And in the one or two cases where the women attempted to contact the authorities, the prosecutors opted not to pursue the matter. I was hoping for a best-case scenario where Cosby would just slink away from the limelight and no one would hear from him again until his death.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that Cosby has just been arrested for the 2004 sexual assault against Andrea Constand, who actually tried to report her assault to the authorities at the time it happened only to have the district attorney opt not to pursue it. Well a new district attorney has decided to go for it and Cosby has just been arrested.

In a way it’s sad for me since I practically grew up with Bill Cosby on the TV screen, which started when my parents watched I Spy. I don’t remember that series too much other than the opening credits because I was very young at the time. My first real memory of Bill Cosby came when I used to watch the Fat Albert cartoon show on Saturday mornings plus he did numerous Jello ads for many years. As an adult I watched The Cosby Show on NBC each Thursday night for a number of years. (I basically thought the first three or four years were hilarious but the series grew tired yet I kept on watching it out of habit and because there was nothing good on opposite that show.) I also remember watching the concert film Bill Cosby: Himself on HBO a few times and I found it funny.

It’s too bad that he ended up being an accused serial rapist. It’s so reminiscent of when O.J. Simpson was accused of murder back in the 1990’s after I grew up watching him so much on TV and in the movies. Oh well.

By the way that exhibit of Bill and Camille Cosby’s personal art collection is still going on at the Smithsonian. That museum is still determined to not close it until its originally scheduled closing date late next month despite lots of criticism and controversy.

UPDATE (December 31, 2015): The day after Bill Cosby’s arrest I found this book that he had written on sale in a Goodwill thrift store. Its title, Love and Marriage, is pretty ironic given the circumstances as well as the cover showing Cosby being surrounded by a bouquet of red roses looking sweet and innocent.

One Day After Bill Cosby Was Arrested For Rape