Phylicia Rashad apologizes to students and families at Howard University after facing backlash for celebrating Bill Cosby’s release from prison earlier this week.

Rashad, who played Cosby’s wife on television, Clair Huxtable, in “The Cosby Show”, is a historically black college alumnus and is also the dean of the school’s college of fine arts.

In her apology letter, Rashad wrote that her comments were not aimed at survivors of sexual assault and that she found no excuse for such behavior. She also noted that she planned to attend trainings to apply related protocols to Howard and work to become a stronger ally of survivors of sexual assault.

Wednesday, Rashad tweeted, “I fully support survivors of sexual assault who come forward. My post was by no means meant to be oblivious to their truth. Personally, I know from my friends and family that such abuse has residual effects in My most sincere wish is healing.

Rashad was criticized after he tweeted to celebrate the overturning of Cosby’s sexual assault conviction.

Rashad had tweeted earlier today when the conviction was overturned. In a tweet since deleted, she wrote: “FINALLY !!!! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”

Rashad’s comment caused a rift between Howard’s students and alumni in particular. Another alumnus, Sheryl Wesley, said: “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. women.”

Most of the people on Twitter were also unhappy with Rashad’s apology.

“I can’t bring that one back,” one person commented.

“Unless the abuser is your friend, is he?” another person wrote.

“It was very insensitive”, commented another person. “That’s exactly why women don’t talk about sexual assault. I’ve loved Mr. Cosby my whole life until it was revealed. Laws don’t always apply to the rich.”

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Janet Hubert also called out Rashad for what she believed to be callousness.

“Phylicia what are you thinking !!!” Hubert wrote in a Tweeter. “I don’t know you, but to say that was terribly wrong. EVERYBODY knew what he was doing at the time. How could you NOT! Take your umbrella sister, here’s the shower. I am shocked that he was released. Yes, that’s a guilty old ass! “

Howard University has published its own statement of support to survivors of sexual assault on Wednesday night.

“Sexual assault survivors will always be our priority,” the university tweeted. While 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. The personal positions of University leaders do not reflect the policies of Howard University.

“We will continue to fully stand up for survivors and support their right to be heard. Howard will stand with survivors and challenge systems that deny them justice. We are fully confident that our teachers and school leaders will be up to date. height of this sacred commitment. “

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