Chris Rock Comments on Bill Cosby & His Word Choices Are Disappointing
From Ferguson to Hillary Clinton's potential presidential run, no topic was left untouched in Chris Rock's interview with New York Magazine . Another subject the comedian weighed in on? Rock talked about Bill Cosby and his recent sex abuse allegations. He raises some great points about various topics in the interview, but when it comes to Cosby, his response is disappointing. When asked, "What do you make of what's happening to Cosby now?" Rock told the magazine:
I don’t know what to say. What do you say? I hope it’s not true. That’s all you can say. I really do. I grew up on Cosby. I love Cosby, and I just hope it’s not true. It’s a weird year for comedy. We lost Robin, we lost Joan, and we kind of lost Cosby.
The first part of his statement is OK and expected. It's tricky to weigh in on such a heavy topic and not knowing what to say is entirely valid. But here's where it gets iffy: "I hope it's not true... I really do." Granted, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but by saying you "hope it isn't true," in a way, invalidates the testimonies of the 16 women who have publicly come forward so far with allegations against Bill Cosby. Sure, you may not want to believe them, but you should still believe them. Hoping something isn't true implies doubt.
It's understandable that Rock feels an attachment to Cosby, or at least the character he portrayed on television. The comedian saying he grew up on Cosby is something plenty of us can relate to. However, to compare the recent downfall of Cosby's career to the deaths of comedic legends Joan Rivers and Robin Williams feels a bit unfair. We've mourned the loss of those two, because they passed before their time. But with Cosby, sure, it's sad we can never look back at his shows or stand-up routines the same way, but it's not comparable to an untimely death. Or at least, I don't think it is.
While I understand it must have been difficult for Rock to weigh in on such a complicated matter, I just wish he would've responded differently, or at least responded in a way that made it seem that he wasn't holding out hope that these allegations aren't true. The claims may be hard to stomach, but wishing they aren't factual won't make them go away. It just makes it all the more difficult for victims to share their stories if they feel like they won't be believed.
Luckily, not all of Rock's interview was disappointing. In fact, there was one aspect of the conversation I do applaud. When discussing Hillary Clinton, he said,
I’m absolutely ready for a woman president. I’m ready for a woman nighttime-talk-show host, to tell you the truth. I wonder which will be first.
Now there's a statement I can get behind!
As for Cosby's side of things, his lawyer denies the validity of the claims, and released a statement originally on Nov. 16 which reads,
Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.
Bustle has reached out to Chris Rock's rep for further comment.
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