Howard Students call for Bill Cosby's former co-star to be FIRED
Howard University students call for Bill Cosby’s on-screen wife Phylicia Rashad to be FIRED from her post of dean at the historically black school after she celebrated his conviction being overturned
- Phylicia Rashad was condemned for tweeting ‘FINALLY! A terrible wrong has been righted’ in the wake of Cosby’s release Wednesday
- Current and former students at Howard University in Washington DC were outraged with her support for the disgraced star
- Ex-student Nylah Brown sarcastically said she was ‘so proud’ to be a graduate of the college where Rashad is now dean of its College of Fine Arts
- The hashtag ‘ByePhilicia’ began trending on Twitter
- Rashad later deleted her tweet and issued a groveling apology
- Howard condemned its dean’s words – but did not say if she would face action
Outraged students have called for Bill Cosby’s former co-star to be ousted from her position as dean at a top university for tweeting her support to him.
The hashtag ‘ByePhilicia’ began trending after Phylicia Rashad – who played Cosby’s wife Clair Huxtable in The Cosby Show between 1984 and 1992 – tweeted: ‘FINALLY! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected.’
Rashad, 73, also shared her thoughts on Instagram, after Cosby was freed three years into a 10 year sentence when his conviction for indecent assault was overturned.
Her support prompted outrage among students and alumni at Howard University in Washington DC, where Rashad has worked as its dean of College of Fine Arts since May.
Former student, Andrew Addison, said Rashad’s words showed she was unfit for her position, and called on Howard to ‘do the right thing and rectify the situation.’
Another alumnus, Nylah Burton shared Rashad’s tweet, and wrote: ‘So proud to be from Howard University! Look at our role models! Defending serial rapists, warms the heart, it really does.’
Phylicia Rashad was condemned by students at Howard University in Washington DC – where she is a dean – over a tweet supporting the release of Bill Cosby
Rahsad sent this tweet after Cosby was released Wednesday – and condemnation soon followed
The journalist later added: ‘SO, since the Dean of College of Fine Arts wants to tell all of her students that sexual assault doesn’t matter to her.’
Whitney Meritus, who is part of Howard’s class of 2024, wrote on Instagram: ‘Hold her ass accountable.
‘I’d take a non-famous dean who believes SA victims over a celebrity dean who does sh*t like this…
‘Don’t get me wrong, I know she was his professor and all, but I don’t think she deserves to lead the Chadwick A. Boseman School of Fine Arts. Not anymore.’
The school was named after Black Panther star Boseman after he died of cancer aged just 43 in August 2020.
Thousands of others took to Twitter to condemn Rashad too.
A tweeter called Mister Race Bannon shared a photo of the actress from the Cosby show, and wrote: ‘I don’t wanna live in a world where you can’t even trust Clair Huxtable.’
Former student turned journalist Nylah Burton sarcastically tweeted she was ‘so proud’ to have gone to the college where Rashad now teaches
Whitney Meritus, a member of Howard’s Class of 2024, took to Instagram and wrote ‘Hold her ass accountable’
Other tweeters were stunned that the actress – famed for playing a wholesome TV mom – could share such a controversial sentiment
Black History Matters screenshotted the offending tweet, and captioned it: ‘Tell me you’re a hypocrite without telling me you’re a hypocrite #ByePhylicia.’
Angela Belcamino said: ‘Imagine rooting for Cosby’s release from prison who admitted to drugging and assaulting women.’
And comedienne Jenny Johnson said: ‘Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad must’ve buried a body together. It’s the only plausible reason I can come up with for her to still support him.
‘#ByePhylicia’ The hashtag was a play on the phrase ‘Bye Felicia,’ which first appeared in cult 1995 film Friday, and has since become a sassy way to dismiss someone.
Rashad later deleted the offending tweet, and posted a groveling apology.
She said: ‘I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.’
Howard University also posted a tweet claiming that ‘survivors of sexual assault will always be our priority,’ and admitting that Rashad’s words ‘lacked sensitivity.’
Rashad deleted the offending tweet, and issued this apology
Howard also shared a statement disavowing its dean’s words – but did not say if she would be disciplined
It is unclear if she will face any disciplinary action.
Cosby was freed from prison in Montgomery County Correctional Facility on Wednesday, and was driven home to his mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania to be reunited with his wife Camille.
He was freed three years into a ten year sentence after Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled that Cosby should never have been charged, tried or convicted in the first place.
Former Montgomery County Prosecutor Bruce Castor did not believe that Cosby accuser Andrea Constand’s 2005 allegation of being drugged and raped was strong enough to bring charges against the star.
Rashad is pictured in the blue dress alongside Bill Cosby in hit sitcom The Cosby Show, which ran from 1984 to 1992
Cosby, 83, was released from prison in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, two years into his 10 year sentence after having his sexual assault conviction overturned
He persuaded Cosby to sit for a taped deposition for a civil case brought by Constand, which saw the comedian admit illegally drugging women and molesting them.
Castor – who defended Cosby at his second impeachment trial – gave Cosby a written guarantee that his admissions would not be used as evidence to bring criminal charges.
But after Castor quit his role, his successor Kevin Steele used the deposition admissions to bring criminal charges against Cosby in 2015.
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled that the written promise to Cosby was binding, and overturned his conviction.
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