Phylicia Rashad says she can’t understand why people avoid the ‘Cosby Show’

In a new interview, Rashad shares her feelings about the scandal that led her former co-star to lose his freedom

This week, Phylicia Rashad had a message for all the The Cosby Show fans torn about watching the sitcom since Bill Cosby’s fall from grace.

During a new cover story for Bustle, the 72-year-old actress who etched her way into our hearts while playing the role of Clair Huxtable, was asked to share her thoughts about viewers who are no longer comfortable watching the beloved show since Cosby’s convictions for sexual assault.

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“I don’t know why anybody would feel that way,” she said. “I just don’t accept what somebody says because they say it, and they say it in a loud voice. The internet has given a lot of anonymous people a very loud voice. And this, too, has happened before.”

The iconic actress who graduated from Howard University and mentored the late Chadwick Boseman while teaching there, then went on to cite the false allegations that were once made against author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. According to Rashad, Hurston’s neighbor accused her of molesting their 10-year-old son.

Phylicia Rashad in 2009. (Getty Images)

The case was eventually thrown out because the writer was out of the country when the crime was allegedly committed. But Rashad points out that the scandal that ensued prior to her vindication drove Hurston to consider suicide and caused irreparable damage to her reputation and career.

“Her books were taken off the shelf,” the actress explained. “And so I know what I know, and I just stay with what I know.”

“And it will happen in time, that this will come around another way, as it often does. And then people say, ‘Oh,’” she said, seemingly in defense of Cosby, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018.

The Bustle interview notes that Rashad has expressed public support for Cosby in the past but when pressed further, she says to the reporter, “There are some things I leave alone.”

But as we previously reported, social media will no longer be one of those things. Last month, Rashad’s fans got an unexpected treat when the notoriously private actress finally joined social media at the insistence of her equally iconic sister Debbie Allen.

“Hi. I’m Phylicia Rashad. And at the behest of my sister, Ms. Debbie Allen, I am joining the ranks of those who actively communicate through social media,” she said in her announcement video.

“I told my sister, ‘Debbie, there are so many Twitter, Facebook, Instagram accounts with my name already on them. Why should I do this?’ She said, ‘Yeah, Lish but they’re not the real you,” she continued.

The Tony-award winning actress said she’s looking forward to interacting with fans.

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“So, this is the real me talking to the real you and I’m looking forward to posting about things that matter, well at least that matter to me. Things that bring me happiness and joy, things that spark my curiosity, things that inspire creativity, things that are challenging. Now, I may not post every day, most assuredly I won’t. But I want you to know this is the real Phylicia Rashad and I’m here,” she said.

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