When it was reported Phylicia Rashad allegedly told ShowBiz reporter Roger Friedman, “Forget these women” in regards to the women who have come out with sexual assault allegations towards Bill Cosby, no one knew what to think. In less than 24 hours, ABC World News Tonight aired an exclusive interview Rashad did with Lindsey Davis and she clarified the notorious claim saying she was “misquoted.” When asked about the comments Rashad allegedly said to Friedman, she said, “And that was a misquote. What I said is that this is not about the women, this is about the obliteration of legacy. I am a woman I would never say such a thing.”
Rashad reiterated what she told Friedman, “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy.” The legendary actress was accused of victim-shaming more than 20 women who had come forward with rape allegations against her former co-star. Rashad offered more insight on how she really feels about how the media’s treated the comedic icon as of late.
Davis’ first question was what came to mind when she first thinks of Cosby, and Rashad smiled and said: “Genius. He is generous, kind, inclusive.” As far as belittling the victims, she was adamant about not even wanting to do project such behavior. “What has happened is declaration in the media of guilt, without proof,” Rashad said.
When asked if she had seen or known of any sexual misconduct from Cosby, again, she rejected any negativity about him, she said, “I have never heard [such stories] before. I can’t speak on those things–and I don’t want to.” When Davis quickly pondered on why anyone would want to frame her TV husband, Rashad concurred, “That’s my question too.”
She also shared that she was not speaking or defending Cosby for sake of future residual checks (as apparently with every airing, the checks are reduced anyway. Who knew?)
While her defense of Cosby surprised many, especially considering the actress has always had an admirable grace about her, she’s always backed the historic legacy and creator of the show that made her a household name, The Cosby Show. The sentiments of her friend were similar to that of Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott, the latter lashing out that the media was trying to ruin “a magnificent legacy.”