Cosby Show star Phylicia Rashad blasted as 'rape apologist' for celebrating Cosby's impending prison release

Phylicia Rashad
Phylicia Rashad Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Phylicia Rashad, the actress behind Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, is under fire after celebrating her former co-star Bill Cosby's impending release from prison.

After a court overturned Cosby's sexual assault conviction on Wednesday, Rashad, who starred as the wife of Cosby's character on the hit sitcom, celebrated the news in a tweet, writing, "FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!"

Her reaction came amid a sea of other tweets decrying the news that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby's conviction on charges of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.

Rashad's tweet immediately drew heavy criticism, with The West Wing star Joshua Malina writing, "Better to remain silent and be thought a rape apologist, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." Others blasted her reaction as "awful" and the "all time most disapointing tweet" while noting that she was appointed dean of Howard University's College of Fine Arts in May.

"Phylicia's response here is not surprising," reporter Victoria M. Walker wrote, "but it is disappointing, given her role as an academic dean charged with the welfare of her students, some of whom will be survivors."

Rashad previously addressed the allegations against Cosby in 2015, saying "I love him" and criticizing what she described as the "destruction of a legacy."

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