Cosby Show Producer: Bill Cosby Rape Allegations “Kind of Tarnished” the Show’s Legacy

Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby's recent sex scandal has "kind of tarnished" The Cosby Show's legacy, executive producer Tom Werner said. Steve Snowden/Getty Images

The effects of the growing scandal surrounding TV icon Bill Cosby are far reaching. At the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday, July 31, The Cosby Show executive producer Tom Werner said Cosby’s actions have “kind of tarnished” the show’s legacy.

“I do think the show is one of the most groundbreaking shows in television,” Werner said, according to TV Insider. “Hopefully people can distinguish between the show and Bill. I think about all the great episodes that we’ve done and the impact that it had. I’m certainly hoping that people can continue to watch it.”

The Cosby Show, which ran from 1984 to 1992, was one of the first series to focus on a middle-class African-American family, and it catapulted Cosby to international fame.

“Certainly it’s a challenge right now,” Werner said of watching reruns of the series. “But I’m hoping that time will pass and that all the great acting and the great stories and the memorable moments will still be able to be viewed.”

Last month, New York magazine released its July 27 issue with a powerful image: 35 women sitting in rows across the cover, each one a victim of Cosby’s alleged sexual molestation.

“The group of women Cosby allegedly assaulted functions almost as a longitudinal study — both for how an individual woman, on her own, deals with such trauma over the decades and for how the culture at large has grappled with rape over the same time period,” feature writer Noreen Malone states in the piece. 

“In the '60s, when the first alleged assault by Cosby occurred, rape was considered to be something violent committed by a stranger,” she continued. “But among younger women, and particularly online, there is a strong sense now that speaking up is the only thing to do, that a woman claiming her own victimhood is more powerful than any other weapon in the fight against rape."

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!