Howard University must support Phylicia Rashad’s free speech – The Hollywood Reporter
Days after Bill Cosby’s wife on TV, Phylicia Rashad, sparked a backlash for celebrating the overturning of his sexual assault conviction, Cosby himself expressed support for Rashad and called the University. Howard, where Rashad was recently appointed dean of the College of Fine Arts, to support her “free speech.”
âHoward University, you must support freedom of speech (Ms. Rashad), which is taught or supposed to be taught every day at this renowned law school, which resides on your campus,â Cosby said in a statement released by the spokesperson Andrew Wyatt.
Rashad was quickly criticized for posting a celebratory tweet shortly after the announcement on Wednesday that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had overturned Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, with the court finding that the district attorney who indicted Cosby was obliged to respect the agreement of his predecessor not to indict the actor. .
âFinally,â Rashad tweeted, in a post that appears to have since been deleted. “A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is being corrected.”
Later Wednesday evening, Rashad posted an additional comment, writing: âI fully support the sexual assault survivors who come forward. My post was in no way intended to be oblivious to their truth. Personally, I know from my friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My most sincere wish is healing.
And Howard posted a statement on Twitter saying, “Sexual assault survivors will always be our priority.”
âWhile Dean Rashad acknowledged in his follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, his initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault,â the statement continued from Howard. âThe personal positions of University leaders do not reflect the policies of Howard University. We will continue to fully defend survivors and support their right to be heard. Howard will stand by the survivors and challenge systems that deny them justice. We are fully convinced that our faculty and our school will live up to this sacred commitment. “
Other reports on Friday revealed that Rashad apologized for his celebratory tweet in a letter to Howard University students and their parents.
Nonetheless, Rashad’s initial tweet led to calls for her to be fired from her post.
Cosby’s statement also lambasted the “mainstream media”, calling the media “the insurgents, who stormed the Capitol,” apparently referring to the Jan.6 attack on Congress.
âThese mainstream media are the insurgents, who stormed the Capitol. These same media insurgents are trying to demolish the Constitution of this United States of America on this Independence Day, âCosby said, further asserting that his conviction was not overturned forâ technicality âlike many. affirmed it.
Cosby said in his statement: âNO TECHNICALITY – THIS IS A VIOLATION OF HIS RIGHTS AND WE THE PEOPLE SUPPORT MS. PHYLICIA RASHAD.