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Phylicia Rashad’s role as Howard U. dean criticized after actress praises Cosby’s release

Actress and incoming dean of Howard University’s fine arts college Phylicia Rashad celebrated the release of her longtime co-star Bill Cosby on Wednesday, an action that drew scrutiny from some.

Rashad, Bill Cosby’s TV wife on “The Cosby Show” and incoming dean of Howard University’s fine arts college, faced mounting criticism for celebrating the comedian’s release from prison. Cosby had his indecent assault conviction vacated due to faulty evidence used by prosecutors.

“FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” Rashad tweeted.

“Since Rashad’s tweet on Wednesday afternoon, there have been calls for her resignation—or removal—from her new post at Howard. The population of the private HBCU in Washington, D.C. is nearly two-thirds women,” Fortune reported.

CNBC reported that Rashad’s position makes her “a first respondent to issues of sexual assault on campus” and that her “tweet has raised concerns online from many about how she might handle sexual assault allegations in her role as dean.”

Responses to the tweet cited by The Hill include “As a @HowardU School of Fine Arts alum, and as a survivor, this tweet from @PhyliciaRashad is disappointing. I hope we can have a dean who believes & respects survivors.”

Rashad has responded to the criticism by saying that “I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.”

MORE: Historically black Spelman College ends Bill Cosby endowed professorship

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix and a visiting fellow with the Independent Women's Forum.