Bill Cosby’s Betrayal
Tuesday Nov 25, 2014 - BY Stacey
Those words were written by Woody Allen and were uttered by me, as Rita, in his 1994 film “Bullets Over Broadway”.
Woody wrote and directed that film on the heels of the media coverage surrounding his controversial romance with Soon Yi. He took a lot of heat and lost many long time fans for his actions, but has continued to make a new film every year for the past several decades. Most of them are superb. I suspect that a tinge of Jewish guilt prompted Woody to write that dialogue; as no one knew better than he, that while an artist may be able to produce extraordinary, beautiful work, as a person, he is flawed just like any other human – maybe even more so.
And I can tell you from personal experience, that it takes a certain personality type that craves the spotlight.
The list of artists who have made reputations for themselves by their objectionable (and sometimes criminal) behavior is too extensive to note. If we carry this conversation into the realm of sports and politics – holy cow! – the list would go on forever.
Yes – it is an error that women seem to be making: falling for the notoriety while turning a blind eye to the human being. These famous men get carte blanche with countless women.
Bill Cosby is the most recent and troubling illustration of this phenomenon. What?? America’s favorite TV father?
As a TV icon, comedian, author, and producer, Mr. Cosby had no shortage of women who were interested in being in his celestial orbit. Women of all ages and ethnicity’s seemed to find him attractive and enormously talented.
So why the hell did he feel the need to drug these women?? This is the multi million dollar question – and it will cost him probably that much to regain his reputation, if that’s at all possible at this point.
Fifteen women have now come out – all saying essentially the same thing – that he drugged them and then had sex with them. How insecure was he that he had to make these women unconscious in order to have his way with them in bed? Did he think he wouldn’t get laid otherwise? Or, did he need to drug them to do some weird, kinky stuff that most women would refuse if sober and in their right mind?? (Wait. Wasn’t he happily married?)
Several years ago, there were stories about his illicit behavior that got buried and eventually, there was a settlement. I don’t think he can escape the allegations this time around. There are too many victims who believed that he was as cute and charming in person as he was on TV, only to find themselves horribly and shamefully compromised – and they don’t give a damn any more about his genius. Nor should they.
We feel betrayed by Bill. He represented wholesomeness and evoked comfort. We trusted him. He was a walking embodiment of family values. He was the “Jello” man, for God’s sake!
I think most of us today can forgive a wide array of failings in our public figures, but Mr. Cosby has perhaps reached the outer limits, as these despicable acts weren’t self harming behavior, but rather criminal acts of sexual violence upon vulnerable young women.
Bill Cosby may leave this world with more people remembering him for drugging and raping women than for all his talents. Sad.
As the great and powerful Wizard of Oz said when he was about to be revealed as a mere mortal: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”.
Well, artists and celebrities – like the Wizard – very much need to have that curtain drawn.
What, if anything, can we learn from this particular scandal?
1. Take Them Off The Pedestal: Most celebrities are far more dysfunctional than the “average” person, and have an enormous need for love and attention. Narcissism runs rampant in Hollywood.
2. Be Wary When They’re Preachy: Anyone who pontificates about what others should be doing (e.g. Cosby’s running critique of the African American community), is usually doing the opposite.
3. Don’t Get Fooled Again: C’mon, America. How many times must keep getting surprised by the downfall of celebrities before you realize that they are not their persona?
4. There’s No Privacy Any More: In today’s world of social media, there is no place to hide and there is no statute of limitations. This is equally important for both celebrities and their fans to remember.