By Andre Jones
Tom Werner of the independent production company Carsey-Werner, who were executive producers of the 80’s sitcom The Cosby Show, commented at the Television Critics Association summer press tour this past Friday and said, “I certainly think that at the moment, the show is kind of tarnished.”
Of course he means the avalanche of sexual assault allegations lobbied at comedian and actor Bill Cosby (the show’s namesake) .
Everyone around age 40 and up can remember the idyllic hit tv show, which portrayed an upper class #Black family – a theme that had not been visited since the 70’s show The Jeffersons. The show quickly became a national hit with it’s morally upright content and positive imagery of Black Americans as contributing, productive members of society.
Werner told the Hollywood Reporter that he hoped that viewers would be able to distinguish the show itself from the recent flurry of allegations.
“Obviously, it’s a challenging time for Bill Cosby, and a challenging time for the show, “ Werner said, “but I’m hoping that people will still be able to watch the show and identify with the Huxtables.”
This appears to be a hard thing for a great number of people to do, and that’s including networks such as Bounce TV, Centric (BET), and TV Land – all major outlets for syndicated shows of yesteryear. All three have pulled The Cosby Show out of their programming. A big part of what makes The Cosby Show a hard sell is that a number of Cosby’s accusers were actually working on the show when the alleged assaults had taken place. Among those are actresses Beverly Johnson, Lisa Jones, and Lili Bernard.
Carsey-Werner had remained mute on the subject of the allegations after issuing a joint statement in November of last year, “The Bill we know was a brilliant and wonderful collaborator on a show that changed the landscape of television,” the statement read, “These recent news reports are beyond our knowledge or comprehension.”
Things appear to be looking worse for Cosby and The Cosby Show. After it was discovered that Cosby had, indeed, given prescription Quaaludes to women he wished to have sex with, actor Joseph C. Phillips, who we all remember from the Cosby Show as Lt. Martin Kendall, husband to the character Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet), wrote an essay on his blog entitled, “Of Course Bill Cosby Is Guilty” in which he summed up the internal conflict of those who love The Cosby Show, but are disillusioned with Cosby himself, “Bill, you have a family that loves you, a wife who is devoted to you; you have more money than you can spend. Please, go live a quiet country life. Allow those of us who truly love you to preserve just a bit of our enchantment.”