Bill Cosby has faced trial by media over the past year, with around 20 women accusing the former family entertainment staple of rape. Dom Kureen considers whether or not it’s wise to continue revering from afar in light of this ever burgeoning list of allegations.
How vulnerable we become when placing pedestals beneath the feet of those held in highest esteem. Despite more than a decade of allegations, Bill Cosby’s most heinous transgressions until the summer of 2014, within public consciousness at least, had revolved around gaudy cardigans and stiff-limbed shape shifting.
Jimmy Saville’s posthumous outing as a paedophile wasn’t met with Universal surprise, other than the extent of the revelations. There had always been something sinister shadowing the bug-eyed radio DJ, more so his crimes had been a clumsily kept secret for several decades by the time he was proven guilty in a court of law.
Where the likes of Cosby and Rolf Harris differ is a lack of perceived plausibility. Cuddly, affable luminaries of the small screen, who had grown old gracefully, becoming treasures of light entertainment in the process.
During his mid-late 1980’s pomp, Cosby successfully metamorphosed from coarse stand-up to PG parent, bouncing children off his knee.
Viewed as a white knight of family entertainment, William Henry Cosby Jr faces an uncertain future, and, if convicted of rape, a legacy of more than half a century will be reduced to rubble.
Tellingly, many of Cosby’s accusers have long resided within the public eye, and those remaining are bereft of the incentive of fame or fortune – which all begs the question of how there could be any ulterior motivation for the disclosure of virtually identical, explicit specifics.
It seems that not a month goes by without another cherished icon or political figure being identified as a sexual deviant – heroes exposed as nefarious perverts.
Cosby hasn’t yet been found guilty, but the likes of Rolf Harris, Max Clifford, Pope Francis and even Paul ‘Pee Wee Herman’ Reubens have been sentenced for their carnal violations.
Who are the masses to laud?; Hypocritical preachers with sticky fingers, law makers-cum-law breakers, or TV personalities who take advantage of their notoriety to hush up masses of abused youths?
With each unfolding scene the creek becomes murkier. Bill Cosby’s affiliation with an army of child actors was once the stuff of comic relief, but now finds itself coated with layers of proverbial excrement.
Whatever the case there will remain those loyal advocates, people who refuse to have their head turned by the levelling of the fourth wall; so ingrained in their psyche is the Samaritan status with whom the person is affiliated.
Therein lies the rub – genuinely virtuous celebrities are bound to be tarnished by the same stigma as the degenerates that preceded them, although it might not be such an absurd stance considering the cesspool that has bubbled up in the past few years .