If there is one thing the Internet has done, it has made it both incredibly easy to lie online and also exceedingly difficult to keep things under wraps. Social media and traditional media outlets have exploded, each day citing a new alleged victim of Cosby’s abuse. Victims have been given the floor with every major publication and news outlet, and The Cosby Show is off the air for the first time in 25 years.
The public was initially surprised that America’s father figure was nothing but a sleazy criminal; an allegation not proven in court. It was so hard to fathom that he could be involved in something like allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting women and teenage girls. To date 10 women have come forward, but the fact of the matter is that the statute of limitations for these allegations has been reached. And the remainder of the cases have been settled outside of court with signed non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses. Legally, Cosby cannot be charged and held accountable for his, so-far alleged, crimes.
Following a slew of questionable Public Relations stunts, the first nail in the coffin occurred when comedian Hannibal Buress’ standup routine involving critique of Cosby’s allegations went viral. A month later, Cosby was interviewed by NPR and refused to address any allegations regarding the rapes. At the same time, an increasingly large number of women were coming out on social media to open up about their personal experiences with Cosby. So far there have been fourteen alleged counts of rape, not including women who agreed to silence upon settlement.
Although the women who are coming forward know that he won’t be charged, it appears that they are more interested in breaking down his method of income and tearing down an image that has been built over a lifetime. On the web, on Facebook, and most other social media interfaces, it would appear they have succeeded.
However, Cosby still played a sold out show in Florida on November 21st ending with a standing ovation for the comedian whose reputation apparently has not been as tarnished as people think. How these allegations play out remains to be seen, but based on the split reactions to the allegations, it is not surprising that these women chose to stay quiet until now.
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