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!
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?”
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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: