Cosby Tumult Could Cost His TV Show Castmates

There’s another reminder on this week’s cover of New York magazine of just how tainted one of TV’s biggest and brightest stars has become. The cover features 35 women -- including well-known names like Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson -- who claim that Bill Cosby molested them.  Even one would be a tragedy.

The photo and accompanying story arrive after the release earlier this month of a long-sealed deposition from a 2005 lawsuit against him, in which Cosby admitted to giving Quaaludes to women and then having sex with them. He claims all such encounters were consensual.

But 46 women claim to be sexual victims of Cosby over the past five or so decades.

The conflicting claims, obviously, don’t add up. It’s hard to imagine 46 women, however, coming forward with false allegations against one man.

And it does make you wonder how many facilitators Cosby had over the years in the entertainment world: studios, networks, agents in various capacities. People who basically knew what was going on and essentially helped him pull it off.



Cosby has been a star for 50 years. (Remember “I Spy,” which ran from 1965-1968?)  “The Cosby Show” generated billions in revenue: advertising, production fees, syndication rights. That’s a lot of motivation for certain business enterprises to rationalize providing Cosby with a helping hand. Hollywood has never been terribly innocent in that regard.

Human tragedies aside, there’s also the question how devalued "The Cosby Show" has now  become as a TV property. Sure it had a long syndication run. But TV Land killed it a while ago, probably guaranteeing that the program won’t have the legs of shows like "M*A*S*H" and "I Love Lucy."

I wonder if the latest round of revelations will prompt Netflix or Amazon to pull "Cosby Show" DVDs from its menu? Not so far. As of this writing they’re still for sale on both.

I also wonder if the producers of the program, or its other stars like Phylicia Rashad and the kids, may have a case against Cosby for devaluing an asset they helped create, and which presumably continues to pay cast members royalties with every airing. Time will tell.

To what extent Cosby’s insurance policies help him in current and potential litigation appears up in the air. Late last month AIG asked a Los Angeles court to rule that it’s not liable for certain claims being made against Cosby in a suit by Dickinson that was filed in May due to exclusions in the policies he bought from the company that cover sexual misconduct and related activity.

For Cosby, that could spell a big cost for a lifetime of (alleged) bad behavior.

3 comments about "Cosby Tumult Could Cost His TV Show Castmates".
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  1. Clifton Chadwick from Comunicaciones Kokopele, July 28, 2015 at 3:41 p.m.

    Are the producers of the program (as you poit out above) complicit in a cover up to protect their investment adn, if that's the case are "its other stars like Phylicia Rashad and the kids "possibly also complicit in NOT "devaluing an asset they helped create, and which presumably continues to pay cast members royalties with every airing. Time will tell."

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 29, 2015 at 12:39 p.m.

    I still wish you hadn't said, "human tragedies aside."

  3. ida tarbell from s-t broadcasting, July 29, 2015 at 2:38 p.m.

    I hated the Cliff Huxtable Show and except for his song The Little Old Man, never liked any of the notoriously mainstream 'family humor' of Bill Cosby.  How many other media stars have been playing this same stunt with their fame.  I suspect we're likely to get a media binge of such stories about others in coming years.  Recent tab stories have ravished both Dick Van Dyke and Andy Griffith, though not for Cosby-like misbehavior.  I have no sympathy for the other player's lost royalties.  The  Husxtable  show was insipid and awful. Television was slipping and audiences were grasping for straws when they latched onto this one.  I turned on Cosby after he voiced a put down CBS reports two episode documentary about the movie career of Stepid Fetchit, which wrecked Fetchitt's hopes for a tv comeback.  From that time forward, I've had no respect for Cosby.

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