The actor who played Aunt Viv in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” called on Phylicia Rashad for expressing his support for Bill Cosby after his release from prison.
Janet Hubert, 65, and Rashad, 73, who played the matriarch of the family on “The Cosby Show”, apparently do not know each other but crossed paths this week on social media when Hubert took to Twitter after Rashad’s reaction to Cosby’s release sparked outrage across the platform.
“What are you thinking about?!,” tweeted Janet Hubert in response to a statement by Rashad celebrating Cosby’s release on Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his indecent assault conviction.
Rashad, who played Cosby’s wife Claire Huxtable on the show, has fiercely defended his former co-star.
“FINALLY !!!! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” Rashad tweeted.
The tweet was deleted after a wave of backlash from people who were disappointed with Rashad and who saw his support for Cosby as an indirect expression against survivors of sexual assault.
But in a sea of comments, the response from Hubert, aka everyone’s favorite “aunt”, stood out.
“… I don’t know you but to say it was terribly wrong. EVERYBODY knew what he was doing at the time. How could you NOT!” Hubert tweeted. “Take your sista umbrella here comes the shower from —. I am outraged that he was released. Yes, he’s an old man – guilty! “
She continued, “I would have said he’s old, he’s out and I’m happy for him, but he’s still … guilty. I know 5 women who haven’t come forward. Enough, we know it better. . Powerful men do evil things, black or white … “
Cosby, 83, was convicted in 2018 of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand in 2004. He was serving a sentence of three to 10 years when his conviction was overturned on the grounds that he had been denied protection from himself. incrimination.
Cosby’s criminal trial was one of the most publicized of the #MeToo era. Dozens of women across the country have spoken out against Cosby, accusing him of sexual assault and misconduct.
Just hours after posting his now deleted tweet, Rashad tweeted again: “I fully support the sexual assault survivors who come forward. My post was in no way intended to be indifferent to their truth. Personally, I know from my friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My sincere wish is a cure. “
Nonetheless, students and alumni at Howard University, where Rashad was recently appointed Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, have expressed concern about his views and how they might impact on her ability to serve as an academic leader.
“She now has a responsibility to a group of students and, in particular, female students,” said Sheryl Wesley, Howard’s 1996 graduate. “She shouldn’t feel comfortable immediately releasing her personal relief from someone she considers a friend but who has been convicted of crimes against women.”
Later, the university took to Instagram, stating in part, “Survivors of sexual assault will always be our first priority. While Dean Rashad acknowledged in his follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, his tweet initial lack of sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault. “
Cosby keeps saying he’s innocent. After his release he tweeted : “I have never changed my position or my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who have supported me in this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law. “