Marc Lamont Hill, Judge Joe Brown spar over Bill Cosby’s release

The debate between the activist and former criminal court judge illustrate the Black community's divide over the case

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Black News Channel’s Marc Lamont Hill and former reality TV court Judge Joe Brown engaged in a heated debate on Thursday over the disgraced comedian Bill Cosby‘s recent release from prison during.

Brown appeared on Hill’s TV news show, “Black News Tonight.” Hill would later tweet that the exchange, which came the day after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction, left him “disgusted.”

Hill, a professor at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, invited Brown to his show for a discussion on the issue after the two fired off opposing tweets on the reversal. In a segment that lasted over 15 minutes, the two went back and forth about Cosby and his accusers.

Black News Tonight host Marc Lamont Hill (left) and former reality court TV’s Judge Joe Brown (right)

While the two agreed in the interview that the legal manner of Cosby’s assault conviction was indeed unfair, they differed on what Cosby’s 2005 deposition at the center of the criminal case means. The deposition was part of a civil court case, in which Cosby disclosed that he obtained drugs to give to women he planned to pursue for sexual relations.

Hill asked if Cosby should still be held accountable for his predatory behavior, to which Brown replied by calling attention to the accusers.

“What about these women being accountable for their own behavior,” said Brown, who hosted show “Judge Joe Brown.” “They were groupies. Sex, drugs, rock and roll; sex, drugs, rap; sex, drugs, baseball; football; basketball; movies; television. See, it’s called being a groupie. We forgot what that term meant.”

Brown continued, “The bimbos come to the party. They hang out, they get drunk, they snort lines of blow and they have a good time. They use the hall closets to give head, bathrooms to get down, and you go in to get your coat off of the bed and they’re laying on top of it doing somebody. See, that’s what that’s about.”

When Hill contended that what Cosby did was not consensual because he drugged the women, Brown responded, “He gave them pills. He didn’t force it down their throats. He didn’t take advantage of them.”

Following the broadcast, Hill tweeted on Friday a statement about his debate with Brown.

“Last night, I interviewed Judge Joe Brown. I was disappointed and disgusted by his misogyny and apologies for rape culture. I wish I’d ended the interview sooner,” Hill said.

That prompted another response from Brown, who said Hill was “way out of [his] league,” exclaiming that “I controlled the narrative.”

“You advocate feminist emotionalism; ignorance of the Law & mob rule—the cause of so many Black Deaths,” he continued. “MAN-UP & stop letting yourself be used by our enemies.”

The sparring match between Hill, an activist, and Brown, a former criminal court judge in Tennessee, first developed on the social app after Cosby was released from prison Wednesday.

Hill argued that the ruling did not render Cosby innocent nor exonerated, saying that his release “means that Cosby, a sexual predator, was incarcerated within a criminal legal system that has as little regard for its own rules and procedures as Cosby does for his victims.”

Brown, however, had a different take on the Cosby controversy, calling out the way the issue has been portrayed in the media.

“Anyone who was knowledgeable of American law would have expected and predicted the outcome of the Cosby appeal,” he said. “Mainstream media and Hollywood incite public disorder by lying to the people about the law and encouraging mob rule. Hollywood reacts to Bill Cosby’s release with shock.”

As reported in theGrio, Cosby was released from prison on Wednesday after serving two years after being convicted of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand. He was originally sentenced to three to 10 years.

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