More and more stories are emerging that are contradicting Bill Cosby’s reputation as a genial and avuncular person. It has been hard for most people to swallow, given the overwhelmingly positive public image he has had. I had never watched his hit TV shows or seen his comedy routines so perhaps had not fallen under his spell as much as others and so the allegations did not seem as unbelievable to me.
In Cosby’s case, none of the allegations have been proven in court and many have passed the time when they could be prosecuted due to the statute of limitations. But one case was settled out of court and its terms not revealed. But the sheer number of allegations and Cosby’s patronizing attitude of ‘I will not deign to talk about it’ and his use of his celebrity power to intimidate reporters does not look good at all.
People are complicated and many people can have a positive and friendly personality on most things but also possess a dark side that is carefully hidden from public view. It is not uncommon for people who commit horrific crimes to have others close to them be completely shocked by a side of their personality that no one suspected existed.
There was an unpleasant side of Cosby that was public and that was his smug condemnation of young people, hectoring them on their appearance and behavior and holding himself up as some kind of role model for them to follow. This is never attractive in old people but he seemed to revel in it and on occasion showed himself to be very cruel.
Of course, not everyone has given up on him. A couple of days ago he gave a sold-out performance in Florida and received a standing ovation. And while TV networks and some venues have canceled his shows, many other venues are continuing to schedule his appearances.