Comedian. Actor. America’s TV Dad.
One name that has been used to describe Bill Cosby the most for almost three years is rapist. Accused of sexually assaulting and raping more than 50 women, Cosby went to trial after allegedly drugging and molesting a former employee of Temple University, Andrea Constand, thirteen years ago. Nearly two weeks ago, the jury in the trial came to a deadlock, meaning the verdict was not unanimous. They deliberated for more than 53 hours over six days.
Less than a week after the trial, Cosby announced that he would host educational talks to avoid sexual assault charges. The use of the word “avoid” is alarming. It is not only ironic for Cosby to lead these talks but also sad. The goal of these talks, if they actually happen, should not be to avoid but to teach anyone regardless of gender NOT to commit the act in the first place. These talks also seem more like a ploy to recover the reputation he once had than to decrease instances of sexual assault.
Although there was no clear verdict in the trial, some questions remain. Will Cosby and his team hear “not guilty” in the retrial? Will the victims eventually receive justice? What does this trial say and reveal about America’s relationship with rape culture in general?