Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Bill Cosby’s Silence Leads to Crushing Blow: UMass-Amherst Cuts All Ties with Comedian


This is the end, my friend. The rape allegations and stories were bad enough. Even worse was the admission by Bill Cosby’s former assistant Frank Scotti that he was the bag man/wing man for Cosby’s girlfriends in the 1980s.

Now comes word via the Boston Globe that UMass Amherst has cut all ties with Cosby. Over the years, Cosby had been given both a master’s and a doctorate in education from the college. He was notably the honorary co-chairman of the school’s ongoing $300 million fund-raising campaign. Bill and Camille Cosby had donated several hundred thousand dollars to the school.

The UMass connection was set Cosby apart from everyone else in comedy and in showbiz. Education has been the underscore of his career. I cannot emphasize this enough. Parting with UMass must be killing Cosby. I have to say I feel bad for him now.

But it’s the silence that’s really killing him. Cosby’s insistence on shutting down, rolling over, and just taking these body blows is not doing him any favors. This is a tragic end for a beautiful career. For the school to end the association seems like the crushing blow, the final straw. That Cosby didn’t defend himself is chilling.

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.

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