EBONY Magazine revealed their November cover last week, which depicted a shattered image of the iconic Huxtable family. Needless to say, it unleashed a wave of controversy over the internet, splitting everybody in equal halves over whether or not it was in poor taste to publish the photo, let alone render it a cover image.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Theo on The Cosby Show initially said on The View the next morning, “We really don’t have enough time on this show to really talk about how I feel about that. That’s a show that we’re all very proud to have been on. The legacy cannot be taken away because all of the good that that show has done cannot be taken away. The generation of people of color who have chosen to go to college because they watched that show, you can’t take that away.”
Warner recently elaborated on his initial thoughts when he stopped by HuffPost Live Tuesday to discuss his new album Selfless.
“[The cover is] contributing to the stereotypical image that society has of the broken black family and the shattered black family,” Warner told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. “And to take something that … for 20 [or] 30 years has been what we have held up as the black family that we all want to aspire to, in terms of the love that we don’t see when we see black families in the media — to take that image and to shatter it, it’s disappointing to a lot of us.”
EBONY, one of the stronger voices of the black community, publishing that cover essentially meant to some that internet controversy was more important to them than preserving one of the greatest legacies of our time. Perpetuating the idea that Bill Cosby’s personal issues have reduced The Cosby Show to nothing more than a tarnished stain in the history of black sitcoms just isn’t sitting right with a lot of people, myself included. And it’s important to remember that when white “legends” do terrible things in their personal lives, mainstream publications do their best to preserve those legacies.
Standing firmly with Malcolm on this one.