PREVIOUSLY: Bill Cosby. . .
I wasn’t planning on writing about this again. It was hard enough for me to do so the first time. I’m still conflicted on how to feel. But I was reminded of it this morning when I watched a documentary about Lance Armstrong on TV. He was another guy who was loved and admired by so many for so long, a veritable American hero and icon, and yet for most of that time he was lying to the public. And he continuously got away with it because of his fame and the admiration millions had for him. People didn’t want to believe that Lance Armstrong could be cheating. It was almost unpatriotic to even raise the issue. What I also noted was the increasing arrogance he displayed in denying the allegations and attacking his accusers. I think as you get away with a lie for so long it leads you feel invincible. This is also reflected in the behavior of Bill Cosby.
I have talked about the Bill Cosby situation a few times in real life and online since writing my last post. Some of the ways people criticize him have still made me uncomfortable. I mean, I do try to remind myself that so far nothing has been proven. It’s all just allegations. An AWFUL LOT of allegations, but allegations nonetheless. And as usual once rumors get started, things can get out of hand. We’ve already had the examples of fake stories being passed around regarding Raven Symone and Lisa Bonet suing Cosby or making public statements against him, both of which they later denied. That’s why it’s important not to just jump on anything you read and take it as gospel.
One disturbing thread I saw on Facebook was from one friend wondering why all of Bill Cosby’s celebrity friends, the people he’d worked with over the years, weren’t leaping to his defense? It was pointed out that Tom Werner and Marcy Carsey, the TV producers who co-created The Cosby Show, released this statement: “The Bill [Cosby] we know was a brilliant and wonderful collaborator on a show that changed the landscape of television. These recent news reports are beyond our knowledge or comprehension.” But apparently that wasn’t considered a strong enough statement for these people.
My response was what the heck are they supposed to say? Unless they were there with him when all of these alleged incidents took place, they can’t say for sure what happened. All they can say is that they never saw him acting like this. But, no, my friend and the folks commenting on his page where taking the fact that no one was saying “I know he didn’t and couldn’t do this!” as a sign of his guilt. I then said there’s no benefit to any of them sticking their neck out here, but then they all starting saying things like “If a friend of mine were in trouble I’d tack the heat for them!” I said I may take the heat for one allegation, maybe two, but when it starts hitting double-digits? Well…
I mean, the reason these allegations are so devastating and unbelievable is because they are so far against everything of Bill Cosby’s public image for the past 40-50 years. Bill Cosby a serial rapist? That’s like finding out that Santa Clause is real and he’s an axe-murderer. But as my fellow blogger “Chocolate Matters” said in response to my last post: “I don’t know if the accusations are true or not but it does illustrates the point the we are all human and there is a private side to all of us that many are never aware of.”
Yes, that’s exactly the point. Maybe it’s because of things I’ve seen during my lifetime, including this stuff about Bill Cosby, but I accept that it’s possible that anybody could be different than what you think, no matter how well you thought you knew them. And it depends on the situation. I said, look, my older brother is GAY. As far as I know he’s had sex with one woman when he was a teenager and had performed oral sex on another because of a dare during a party in his 20’s, but other than that he’s been strictly dickly for the past 30 years. But still if almost 20 different unrelated women all came forward with eerily similar stories of him drugging and raping them, well, even I would have step back and think about it before I rushed to his defense.
While not as serious, two years ago I wrote about a coworker who got fired after being caught stealing from our company. And like I said at the time, that was a shock to me. He’d worked there with me for 10 years, I thought I knew him. I never would have suspected that he would ever do what he did. So there you go.
As per the title of this post, this is the danger of having heroes, looking up to people as role models, for whatever reason. They’re ultimately just people, and people can let you down, which can then taint the very reason why you looked up to them. Again, that documentary showed all the great charity work and activism and fund-raising Lance Armstrong did for the fight against Cancer, but that’s all overshadowed by his steroid abuse. Just like Bill Cosby’s charity work and decades of creating positive uplifting entertainment are overshadowed. I find myself thinking of other personal heroes of mind and wondering what’s next? Am I going to find out that Muhammad Ali has been backing Al Qaeda? That Bill and Melinda Gates are running an international child prostitution ring? Is Oprah a drug-dealer? I mean, dang, can I believe in anyone anymore?