Ebony, a leading African American lifestyle magazine, has put controversial comedian Bill Cosby on its November cover, sparking both satisfaction and rage on Twitter.
The cover picture is actually two decades old — a group shot of Cosby with “The Cosby Show” co-stars, including Phylicia Rashad, who played his wife, and four of the actors who played his children.
But the grinning face of 78-year-old Cosby, who has faced a string of sexual assault allegations recently, is nearly obscured by an image of shattered glass, reported USA Today.
The picture of an iconic black American TV family is the illustration for the magazine’s issue on black families, with an examination of the real Cosby versus the beloved father figure he played, Cliff Huxtable.
Like the dramatic cover, the real Cosby’s image has been shattered over the last year by the reemergence of accusations that he drugged and raped more than 50 women in encounters dating back decades, including when he ruled American sitcom TV from “The Cosby Show”.
The magazine is not even on newsstands yet, but after Ebony posted the cover on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on Wednesday, posts and tweets piled up.
“Bill Cosby shattered his own image, Ebony just printed the cover,” one twitter user said, while another added, “This Ebony cover of the Cosby show pulls no punches. Whew.”
“I don’t like that new Ebony mag cover. Im sorry but you can’t erase the legacy of Bill Cosby…..he has done wayyyyyyyy to much too much!” a Cosby fan wrote.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief Kierna Mayo said on Facebook (before the post was deleted) that the cover wasn’t an easy decision but it was necessary to have an honest conversation.
“I believe with everything that our collective healing (from this and all traumas) is tied to baring truths, confronting selves, and dismantling crutches,” she wrote. “We aim to uplift.
“However, sometimes before you rise up, you break down.”