Celebrity Has its Privileges, Even Where Alleged Sex Crimes Are Concerned
After six days of deliberation, the trial of one of America’s once most beloved ‘dads’ ended with a hung jury. It’s not a victory for Bill Cosby, his accuser(s) or the prosecution. The accusations still hang over Cosby’s head. The prosecutor, Montgomery County Pennsylvania DA Kevin Steele says the state will take Cosby to trial again.
I’ve been saying on my program for weeks now that this was going to either end in a mistrial or acquittal. Why? Because this is Bill Cosby, actor, comedian, ‘America’s Dad’, Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, that’s why. In the minds of millions of American’s, he’s still NBC’s sensation. Did that have any impact on this jury? Officially no it did not. But you and I and every member of that jury are human. We all profile, we all have pre-conceived notions. And I hate to break it to you, but fight it as you may; it is part of you as a human being.
Many people cannot bring themselves, to this day, to accept that it is highly likely that O.J. Simpson murdered his ex-wife. Millions of adoring fans of Michael Jackson cannot accept the idea that he was accused of molesting children. And people certainly don’t want to believe that Bill Cosby, the comedian who used to openly chastise black comedians such as Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor for their R-rated acts, could possibly be guilty of drugging and raping women.
You see if this were Bill Cosby the auto mechanic or Bill Cosby the waiter at a restaurant or Bill Cosby the school teacher, there would be no question about what would happen. He would likely never see a trial, because his court appointed attorney would have him signing a plea deal faster than you can say Mariska Hargitay. But we’re not talking about Bill Cosby the average, everyday citizen. We’re talking about Bill Cosby the super celebrity. And that celebrity status brings with it the kind of doubt that makes it pretty damn tough to convict the man of the charges he faces.
According to a Vanity Fair article from May of 2016, Cosby admitted in a deposition that as recently as 16 years ago, he had sex with a girl who may have been just 17 when she met him. Is there a father out there who wouldn’t want to beat the hell out a 63 year-old man for having sex with his teenage daughter? Yet, in spite of all that is known by Cosby’s own words in that deposition, the jury, in this case, was ‘hopelessly’ deadlocked.
For anyone else, the accusation of such a crime is enough to ruin your life. Every time an ordinary citizen is arrested on an accusation of sexual assault, the media immediately ensures that you know their name, face and exactly what they are accused of, right down to the most salacious detail. Sadly, more often than not, those accused do prove to be guilty. But do you ever have any doubt at the moment you learn of the accusation that the individual is guilty? Not likely. But where celebrities are concerned, we tend to defer immediately to doubt. It’s a pathetic thing, really it is, that justice is really not served so fairly and equally in our society. O.J., the late Jackson, and Cosby can all thank their well-paid attorneys, publicists and once stellar reputations for keeping them away from where any of the rest of us would find ourselves: under the jail.