Phylicia Rashad

Phylicia Rashad

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What was the Accusation?

Phylicia Rashad’s decision to gleefully congratulate Bill Cosby after his conviction for sexual assault was vacated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not go over well. Rashad, whose messages carry extra weight as she is dean of the College of Fire Arts at Howard University, tweeted: “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” Rashad, who played the actor’s wife on The Cosby Show, was swiftly condemned, with critics pointing out that she has a “responsibility” to “hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable” and calling for her resignation. Even Howard had trouble with Rashad’s actions, saying that while a follow-up tweet by the actress acknowledged “victims must be heard and believed,” Rashad’s initial tweet “lacked sensitivity.”

Rashad deleted her original tweet and posted that she was sorry: “This week, I tweeted a statement that caused so much hurt in so many people both broadly and inside the Howard community. I offer my most sincere apology.” Cosby, 83, had served two years of his 10-year prison sentence after being convicted in the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand. But dozens more have claimed that he assaulted them 60 in all. Though Rashad said, “I vehemently oppose sexual violence, find no excuse for such behavior,” was her apology heart-felt? Many did not think so. As Evelyn Atieno, editor in chief of Affinity, tweeted: “I love @PhyliciaRashad but Howard need to remove her cause how safe would you feel if your dean is defending a man who ADMITTED he drugged and raped women.”

Key Apologia Strategies:

Mortification, Bolstering, Corrective Action




Formal letter to Howard University Students and Parents:

Phylicia Rashad Letter to Howard University Students


Allen, M. (2021, July 3). Phylicia Rashad sends apology letter to Howard students, parents over Cosby tweet. Yahoo News. Retrieved from

Aouga, K., & Ly, L. (2021, July 3). Phylicia Rashad pens letter to Howard students and parents. CNN. Retrieved from

France, L. R. (2021, July 1). Phylicia Rashad’s support of Bill Cosby highlights division in the Black community. CNN. Retrieved from

Guerrasio, J. (2021, July 1). Howard University condemns Phylicia Rashad’s tweet. Insider. Retrieved from

Ryan, P., Puente, M., & Mallenbaum, C. (2021,  July 6). A complete list of the 60 Bill Cosby accusers. Yahoo News. Retrieved from