Petition Seeks to Revoke Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom

Bill Cosby presidential medal of freedom removed
A petition seeks to revoke Bill Cosby's Presidential Medal of Freedom Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Bill Cosby may lose one of his biggest honors after new details surfaced about his history of sexual misconduct. A petition that asks for the star's Presidential Medal of Freedom to be removed is gaining steam.

Filed to the White House's website, the "Revoke the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Cosby" petition made its way online in the aftermath of the Associated Press' scathing report on the comedian. As previously detailed, the AP article unearthed documents from 2005, in which Cosby admits to obtaining Quaaludes for the purpose of giving them to the women he was attracted to. 

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"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest award bestowed on civilians for their contributions to society. Bill Cosby does not deserve to be on the list of distinguished recipients," the petition reads. "PAVE: Promoting Awareness | Victim Empowerment, a national nonprofit dedicated to sexual assault prevention and victim empowerment, is rallying supporters to remedy this injustice. Cosby admitted to procuring drugs to have sex with women without their consent. He has been accused of serial rape by dozens of others."

"We cannot yet give his accusers their day in court, but we can fight back in the court of public opinion," the petition continues. "We urge the administration to take the unprecedented action of revoking this award."

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Cosby, 77, was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2002 by then-President George W. Bush. The same year, the Medal was also given to baseball great Hank Aaron, opera singer Placido Domingo, Mister Rogers' Fred Rogers, and Nelson Mandela, among others.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest commented on the request to revoke Cosby's Medal on Wednesday, July 8, telling reporters, "I don't know whether or not it's legally possible to do so." 

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In the decades since the Medal was first introduced, a formal revocation has yet to take place. Perhaps the closest thing that's happened occurred in 2011, when senators withdrew their support for Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's Medal of Honor nomination following the child sex abuse scandal involving his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky

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