Lunch And A Show: '80s Innocence Lost
Reagan-era icons hit a wall.
Sexual-assault allegations continued to boomerang into Bill Cosby's face over the weekend: he got cut from a film on black stuntmen; Spelman College turfed a professorship endowed by Cosby; and of course there's that New York Mag cover story. I never watched The Cosby Show so I can't speak to how people feel about that work here in 2015 -- but when HBO had the rights to Himself I probably saw it fifty times, and I used to quote from it weekly. Now, I feel strange about it. I dropped a "the beatings will now begin!" in the direction of a sassy feline the other day and wished I hadn't, even though it's a cat and who cares.
I've seen calls on Twitter for Hulu to boot The Cosby Show from its roster -- here's a piece from The Wrap on why that may not have happened (yet) -- and it raises the question of whether we should delete Cosby from our cultural public spaces. I don't know the answer. I understand the instinct to punish him in that way, but I don't know how much good it does, in the end. Does it give his accusers some solace at last? Does it make him reflect? (Based on his public responses to date: doubtful. And someone in his camp really needs to order him to shut up.) And if we can't look at a great or satisfying work of TV -- or music, or film, or an accomplishment in sport -- and separate its worth from the inadequate humanity of its creator, does that say something about us?
I don't know the answers. But I do think censuring Cosby in the work "space" is maybe an attempt to make up for actions not taken/statements not believed in the personal/crime space, well meant but not destined to succeed, and shouldn't take us collectively off the hook for seeing justice done for real.
What do you guys think?
In other "please act less odiously, '80s icons" news, Hulk Hogan got punted for the extra point by WWE for the racist rant in his Gawker deposition. I recommend this Guardian piece for describing HH as "prawn-red," and for its bone-dry rendition of the facts to date. "Love Sponge did not seem to be fazed by this arrangement" is so vinegary and British. Love it.
On a happier note, Morgan Cline's latest Markerpiece tackles '80s icons Designing Women.