Motion Picture Academy expels Bill Cosby as post-conviction fallout continues – ThinkProgress - Only Hit Lyrics

Motion Picture Academy expels Bill Cosby as post-conviction fallout continues – ThinkProgress


As Bill Cosby sits under house arrest in his home in Cheltenham — the same place where he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004 — there is little he can do but wait.

Cosby was convicted on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault with which he was charged, and each count carries a maximum ten-year sentence. He will be sentenced within the next two to three months.

But while Cosby is imprisoned at the scene of his crime, the rest of the world — particularly his die-hard fans and those who abstained from making any determination about Cosby until the trial was over — has been left to reckon with the verdict. The biggest blow so far came on Thursday afternoon: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Cosby, along with convicted rapist and Oscar winner Roman Polanski, would be expelled from the Academy.

Last October, ThinkProgress asked why Cosby and Polanski were still in the academy, which had just kicked out alleged serial sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. At that point, only one person had ever been booted from the academy: Godfather actor Carmine Caridi, who in 2004 was banished for sharing screeners which were later pirated.

In its statement announcing the expulsion of Weinstein, the academy trumpeted the news like so:

“We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”

But when reached for comment about the status of Cosby’s membership (and Polanski’s, and Casey Affleck, who had been accused by two female colleagues of sexual harassment), the academy did not respond.

Read on for more on the fallout from the conviction of Cosby.

‘The Cosby Show’ is officially canceled

Atlanta-based Bounce TV pulled reruns of Cosby, Cosby’s CBS sitcom, back in July 2015. But it continued to air old episodes of The Cosby Show, saying at the time that though the network took the allegations against Cosby “seriously,” its research shows African-Americans “see a distinction between Bill Cosby, the man, and the iconic TV character Cliff Huxtable.” (TV Land disagreed, pulling its Cosby Show reruns at that time.)

But after the guilty verdict came down, Bounce released a statement: “Effective immediately, Bounce is removing The Cosby Show from our schedule.”

Cosby’s been kicked out of the Hall of Fame…

The Television Academy has removed Cosby’s name and statue from its Hall of Fame, Deadline reports. Cosby was inducted in 1992. As an Academy spokesperson told Deadline, “All references to Mr. Cosby were removed from the website.” The erasure is an “unprecedented” one, and includes a “bust” of Cosby that once had prominent placement in the Hall of Fame Plaza:

A bust of Cosby that formerly graced the Academy’s outdoor Hall of Fame Plaza won’t be returning to view either. Cosby’s bust, like those of all the other of Hall of Fame recipients, was “removed during construction of the new Saban Media Center,” the spokesperson said, “and at the time it was announced that they would be rotated from storage into the courtyard. We have no plans to place Mr. Cosby’s bust in the courtyard.”

…and stripped of his honorary degrees

The day the verdict was announced, Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, rescinded the honorary doctorate it awarded Cosby in 1991. Not only was Cosby a graduate of Temple but he was a high-profile booster, donor, and fundraiser, not to mention a member of the board of directors for decades until he resigned in 2014. Cosby graduated from Temple in 1971 with a degree in physical education.

It’s worth noting that Temple was not just Cosby’s alma mater but was Andrea Constand’s employer at the time at which she and Cosby met; that she came to know him because of his connection with Temple and that, as she testified, she feared reporting his assault because she was worried doing so would jeopardize her job.

That same day, Deadline reported, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, all announced they would be revoking Cosby’s honorary degrees as well. Within days, the University of North Carolina said it would begin steps to do the same: UNC’s chancellor has recommended that the Board of Trustees begin the process of revoking the honorary degree Cosby was awarded in 2003. The Board is expected to vote on the matter sometime this month.

The following week, Yale University announced it too would be rescinding Cosby’s honorary degree, which Cosby was awarded in 2003. This is the first time in the school’s 300-year history that it has ever taken back an honorary degree, though students have been lobbying for Yale to do what many other schools had already done for years. (Among them, Fordham and Marquette, who rescinded honorary degrees bestowed on Cosby in 2015 — a first for the two Jesuit institutions.)

Nearly 200 Yale students signed an online petition in December 2014 calling for Yale President Peter Salovey to rescind Cosby’s honorary doctorate of humane letters. As the Yale Daily News reported that year, “Salovey said the arguments in the petition warranted serious consideration — but noted that many would consider it inappropriate to rescind a degree based solely on accusations of misconduct.”

In early February 2018, the University of Pennsylvania rescinded Cosby’s honorary degree, which it had awarded the comedian in 1990, along with the honorary degree of Steve Wynn, both of whom faced dozens of allegations of sexual violence. Penn’s stance: “The nature, severity, and extent of these allegations, and the patterns of abusive behavior they describe, involve acts and conduct that are inimical to the core values of our University.”

But Yale University Secretary and Vice President for Student Life Kimberly Goff-Crews told theYale Daily News that Yale had no intention of following suit:

“Yale has never rescinded an honorary degree. Any change to this longstanding practice would have to be taken up by the board of trustees, which is the body that confers degrees, and it is not under active discussion.”

What a difference four years, two trials, and three guilty verdicts can make.

He still has his number one fan: Camille Cosby

Camille, Cosby’s wife, has denied all of the allegations against her husband. On Thursday, she released a scorched-earth statement in his defense, calling for a criminal investigation into district attorney Kevin Steele “and his cohorts” who, Camille alleges, are “exploitative and corrupt people.”

She compares her husband — who did, in fact, enjoy the due process of law in not one but two trials and was convicted on all three counts by a jury of his peers — to Emmett Till, the black teenager who, in 1955, was lynched in Mississippi after witnesses accused him of whistling at a white woman; his killers were acquitted. Bill Cosby, Camille said, was also the victim of “lynch mobs.”

“Once again, an innocent person has been found guilty based on an unthinking, unquestioning, unconstitutional frenzy propagated by the media and allowed to play out in a supposed court of law. This is mob justice, not real justice. This tragedy must be undone not just for Bill Cosby, but for the country.”

Again, just in case this is difficult to follow, Cosby is alive and awaiting sentencing at his home in Cheltenham.


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