Monday, July 15, 2024

Phylicia Rashad: Stop Before You Attack Her– Bill Cosby Could Be Anybody


I am very dismayed by the attacks I’m seeing on Phylicia Rashad. She spoke to me reluctantly, and did not want to become part of the media grinder. She was defending her friend, and I encouraged her. Frankly, no matter what Gloria Allred, Janice Dickinson or Beverly Johnson says, everything leveled at Bill Cosby is just an allegation. There are no police records, no arrests, convictions, trials, etc.

This doesn’t mean I think he’s innocent or not guilty. (Just watch the vultures turn this way now.) But Bill Cosby deserves a defense from his friends if they choose to give one. Not only that, but Phylicia Rashad is no dummy. Some accused her of trying to save her residuals from The Cosby Show. That’s insane. There is no financial motivation. Rashad is a smart woman. She is allowed her opinion. Give her credit for defending someone she knew for a dozen years at the height of his fame.

Something I didn’t tell you– Phylicia has been asked to play Michael B. Jordan’s grandmother in “Creed,” Ryan Coogler’s updated “Rocky” movie. This means she’s Apollo Creed’s widow. What coup for Coogler and producer Irwin Winkler. Rashad has a Tony Award for Best Actress in “A Raisin in the Sun”– the 2004 production that featured Sean Combs. She is a highly regarded dramatic actress, up there with Rosemary Harris and Angela Lansbury (not as old, certainly) and Janet McTeer– in the top tier.

I do think if Meryl Streep or Glenn Close had said the same things about Bill Cosby, no would have dared criticize them.

And for those celebrities that have: just think what would happen if allegations started pouring out of the wood work about you. Regardless of truth. To be tried in public, and ruined, is something so easily done to anyone. I looked at stories about Steve Kroft today and winced.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News