Cedric The Entertainer Says Cosby Deserves Credit For Contribution to Black Culture
Actor/comedian Cedric The Entertainer says Bill Cosby still deserves credit for his contribution to black history and culture, despite his status as a convicted sex offender.
Cedric made the claim in an Instagram video shared, during which he honored Cosby as a part of Black History Month.
Beneath a four minute video in which he honored the disgraced comedian, Cedric wrote, 'Bill Cosby was one of the first black men we saw on TV that was truly his own boss.
'He taught us to know our worth in this business, he showed us how to give back to our communities and institutions, he was/ is prolific, funny and audacious.'
He continued: 'Cosby ruled on damn near every platform. Thursday nights became must see TV because of him. Film, stage, books, animation, [and] recordings, all were places he reigned supreme. So he has to be shouted out, for his contribution to the Black History of Comedy. Show the legend some recognition!'
Cedric clarified that 'the controversy of Cosby's current situation [ie. his criminal conviction] was 'not what his post was about'.
Cosby was widely credited as one of the most influential African American entertainers in US history. Between 1985 and 1989, his hit sitcom "The Cosby Show" was the most-watched program on US television, frequently drawing in upward of 35 million viewers.
However, his career came to an end after 60 women accused Cosby of a range of offenses - including rape and drug-facilitated sexual assault - between the years 1965 and 2008.
Most of those accusations were unable to be tried in court due to the statute of limitations. However, in 2018, Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to between three and 10 years in prison.
Cedric The Entertainer still believes that Cosby's crimes should not completely mitigate his achievements.
Cedric said, 'We all live a full life with a lot of good things and some bad things. You pay the cost for all of it.
'If you get convicted, people wanna wipe out the [good] things that you did.'
He continued: 'What I wanted to say was that for so many years of our lives Bill Cosby was the litmus.... Everything he did, the way he contributed and showed love to black people, the way he taught us how to do that for ourselves, the way we all learned to take pride in our culture and our history'.
Cedric added that "The Cosby Show" was groundbreaking because it featured a black lawyer and a black doctor, and audiences had 'never seen those images' before.
He also claimed Cosby helped pave the way for legendary black entertainers like Jay-Z and Tyler Perry who 'emulated' Cosby's media power.
When asked whether Cosby could ever be forgiven for his crimes, Cedric stated: 'Redemption for certain crimes are going to be hard to come by.
'Abuse of the ladies, taking advantage of people that are unaware of their circumstance, I don't know how much redemption you deserve for that'.