For some time now, there have been numerous disturbing rape allegations against actor and comedian Bill Cosby that have left the public in shock and confusion. These claims have, unfortunately, been around much longer than many may realize: Though they originated nine years ago, they were despicably been swept under the rug for ages — until, very recently, comedian Hannibal Buress called out Cosby for allegedly being a rapist during a stand-up performance. Now, not only are many beginning to open a discussion about the accusations swirling around Cosby, but one of his alleged victims, Barbara Bowman, recently spoke out in an op-ed for The Washington Post to share her story (And make an excellent point — why, with these rumors going around for years, did it take the stand-up of a male comedian to make people actually take notice? — but that's a whole 'nother topic for a whole 'nother story). In response to the allegations, there is one person refusing to speak up, though: In an interview with NPR on Saturday, Bill Cosby refused to discuss the rape allegations against him.
In an interview with NPR’s Scott Simon primarily concerning 62 pieces of artwork Cosby and his wife, Camille, had loaned to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, the discussion later switched gears to discuss the horrifying accusations against Cosby. In his interview, Simon asked Cosby to comment on the rumors.
“This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby,” Simon said. “but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days.”
To this, Cosby had no response, but Simon continued his line of questioning, saying, "You’re shaking your head no. I’m in the news business. I have to ask the question. Do you have any response to those charges?"
Again, there was silence. “Shaking your head no. There are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this. I want to give you the chance." Silence.
"Alright. Camille and Bill Cosby," Simon eventually wrapped up. "They have lent 62 pieces from their collection of African and African American art to create an exhibit called ‘Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue.’”
It was just as uncomfortable to listen to as it is to read — you can check out the audio clip of the interview here (with the questions about the allegations against Cosby beginning at about 3 minutes and 30 seconds in) — and it was apparent by the long pauses that Cosby wasn’t going to respond.
Although there’s no telling whether or not the actor will ever have an answer since he has often refused to speak of the allegations against him in the past, there's no changing the fact that they are a serious matter than should be acknowledged and discussed — only for the sake of the alleged victims.