Ever since sexual abuse allegations against Bill Cosby resurfaced last year, many have questioned whether The Cosby Show‘s legacy is now tarnished. But Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who previously said he felt the impact of The Cosby Show had been tarnished, said in a recent interview that it’s possible to divorce the allegations from the sitcom.
“Based on the social media comments that I get and I see, a lot of the audience has been able to do that and are doing that,” Warner, who played Cosby’s onscreen son, said on HuffPost Live. “I would [also] love to think so because when we talk about Woody Allen, we don’t talk about his controversy. When we talk about Roman Polanski now, it’s like that’s no longer part of the conversation. So if that’s how it goes, then I hope the same can come of The Cosby Show.“
Warner’s referring to Dylan Farrow’s allegations that Allen, her adopted father, abused her as a child, and Polanski’s 1977 arrest for sexually assaulting a teenage girl. Both directors have gone on to make multiple movies — and win Academy Awards — in the wake of the claims.
More than 50 women have now accused Cosby of sexual assault. The 78-year-old has never been charged with a crime.
“My biggest concern is when it comes to images of people of color on television and film, no matter what … negative stereotypes of people of color, we’ve always had The Cosby Show to hold up against that,” Warner said to the Associated Press earlier this month. “And the fact that we no longer have that, that’s the thing that saddens me the most, because in a few generations, the Huxtables will have just been a fairy tale.”
Watch the clip from Warner’s interview on HuffPost Live below, and read more about his thoughts on the Cosby case here.