How the Future Will Tell Bill Cosby’s Story

Christina Cauterucci in XXFactor:

BillIt’s been nearly a year since a joke from Hannibal Buress’ stand-up routine—augmenting a February Gawker post—reminded the public of the many women who’ve accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Since dozens more allegations and a damning deposition testimony have surfaced, it’s hard to believe there were days when we still wondered if Cosby’s legacy could survive the alleged monstrosities of his past. Thursday night, A&E will premiere an hourlong special about the conservative apologist’s fall from public favor. Framed by a chronological telling of his career arc, it plays as a damning biographical documentary—a profoundly unflattering look back at how, at every step in his professional life, Cosby used his money, fame, and paternal reputation to manipulate young women.

It also offers a glimpse at how future cultural critics might analyze his life. Video is an effective means of exposing Cosby’s hypocrisies: Disturbing personal accounts from 13 women he allegedly assaulted cut even deeper when paired with audio of his 1960s stand-up (including one boding bit about slipping women a purported aphrodisiac, Spanish fly) and footage from his moralizing speeches, in which he’d vilify pregnant black teens for having sex. Viewed from above, Cosby’s downfall seems inevitable from the start, even though plenty of other men in power have gone peacefully to their graves after a history of physical and sexual abuse.

More here.