Bill Cosby’s Brand Is No Laughing Matter

Bill Cosby

With 16 women now accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault, the comedian’s brand is in dangerous peril. And, Netflix and NBC abruptly cancelled pending projects.

4 Reasons Why This Story Is Gaining Traction – Fast!

  1. It’s another Brand Implosion – When behavior of a celebrity brand are vastly different than our expectations, the celebrity suffers a brand implosion Think Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, and Michael Phelps. In this instance, fans of The Huxtables are thinking: “Is America’s Dad really now America’s cad?”

Brand Implosion

  1. Irresistible Formula of Celebrity + Social Media + Scandal – Every equation of the magic formula of a hot topic is here: popular celebrity, social media, salacious allegations, and a viral video from stand-up comic Hannibal Buress.
  2. The 24/7 Internet Gives a Voice to Victims – Whereas in the past, female victims were terrified of being victimized themselves, many accusers wanted to support the allegations made by others. Linda Traitz took to Facebook and many others spoke intimately in an exposé in The Washington Post.
  3. New Political & American Landscape –The Ray Rice affair demonstrating the brute force of domestic abuse has forever changed the conversation. It’s NOT OK to sweep under the rug allegations of sexual, domestic, or child abuse. Instead, it’s time to continue the conversation.

Can Bill Cosby’s Brand Survive?

Although never convicted, Bill Cosby’s brand is permanently tainted for these reasons:

  1. On tour in clubs around the country, it’s no longer a comedy show, but one of tragedy. Audiences can no longer separate the man from the accusations which makes for a hostile crowd. In essence, we can’t “unhear” the 16 accusers.
  1. Unlike Tiger, Mel, or Michael, Bill can’t simply apologize and go to rehab. His actions, if true, are not just errors in judgment, but felony charges.
  1. And, just like murder mystery readers who love it when the defendant takes the stand, we are waiting with bated breath for Bill Cosby to speak. His NPR interview with Scott Simon literally became dead air when he refused to speak on the topic. The same “no comment” also appeared on TV. The only voice we’re hearing is that of his attorney. Speaking only through lawyers makes us nervous…and distrustful.

What’s your take? I’m all ears – comment below:

 

5 Comments
  1. “The 24/7 Internet Gives a Voice to Victims” The 24/7 Internet can also give credence to a smear campaign, much like when Herman Cain was accused of sexual misconducts–until after he dropped out of the Republican campaign. Since then, the women who accused Herman Cain seemed to have returned to the woodwork.

    Because of his conservative viewpoints and because of so many women are now–after DECADES–coming out of the woodwork, it looks more like a smear campaign against Bill Cosby.

    Nearly all of them claim they were drugged and can’t remember the actual rape, much like describing date rape drugs. However, date rape drugs were not around prior to the 1990s while these sexual encounters occurred in the 70s and 80s–prior to date rape drugs.

    Also, if so many women were sexually raped by Bill Cosby, why didn’t just one of these many women have the courage to come forth DECADES ago, when there may have been evidence to submit, such as evidence of being drugged or raped? Also, any one of these women coming forth before he statue of limitation ran out? As you mentioned, these are felony charges; however, Cosby can’t be tried anymore.

  2. Hi Frank:

    I don’t know the truth here, but I am actually suspicious of Bill Cosby because all of the women seem to have a pretty close version of the event.

    The accusers claim that they were bullied into submission and silence. I don’t think it’s a smear campaign, but I’m ready to hear from Bill; aren’t you?

  3. Actually, back in the days when Bill was doing his thing, women who came forward to accuse someone or rape were vilified by the (male) police, yet some of the women did seek counsel and talked to the authorities of the film studios. I’m sure they were told to get lost — if they spoke out against the star they’d never work in the film industry again. They were all young and needed work — what were they going to gain?

    The women who have come forth now have nothing to gain from it except to stop it from happening again and to let the other women know that their heartache was and is valid. They aren’t seeking monetary gain or personal fame, so why would they lie now?

    I once heard a professor say that 1 in 4 women in the US are raped in their lifetime, but only a small fraction ever report it or even tell their friends — they are ashamed, even when it was completely unprovoked. Fifty years ago a woman would have had to be crazy to go to the police, and I’m pretty sure 90% still wouldn’t.

  4. Thanks for adding your viewpoint here too, Cheri. You’re right in that all of these women felt that they had hit the jackpot – the chance to work or write for a breakout star. After the incident, the women explicitly said that it would be their word against his – and they would lose.

  5. …and the fallout continues with Bill Cosbt resigning as a trustee from his Alma mater Temple Umiversity.

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