BY INKOO KANG
A promotional image for the The Cosby Show.
Bill Cosby's present is secure. Despite the 17 women (so far) who have publicly come forward with notably similar allegations of drug-enabled sexual assault, the comedian received standing ovations for his stand-up performances in the Bahamas and in Florida recently. His comeback tour will likely continue over the next few months. A handful of venues have canceled his engagements, but more than two dozen shows remain on the schedule.
Cosby's legacy, however, may be marred forever. Unsurprisingly, it's the cultural critics who grew up worshipping his TV family -- those who feel the betrayal of The Cosby Show's wholesomeness most acutely -- who have led the charge in renouncing everything the comedian has ever done. Roxane Gay powerfully (if not entirely convincingly) argued that, in the case of Cosby, the choice is "art or humanity": "There is only one side that matters ... We have to stop supporting any of his endeavors. His art does not absolve him. Art is nothing compared to humanity, nothing at all." Mike Ryan was no less absolute: "All the good he did -- and his contributions to popular culture really did do a lot of good -- is now ruined."More »