On October 15th EBONY Magazine released their cover for the November 2015 issue. The cover features an image of the cast of “The Cosby Show” from season one, shattered, with the most damaged done by Cliff Huxtable’s (played by Bill Cosby) face. The headline reads “The Family Issue(s): Cosby vs. Cliff.”
In an excerpt of the cover story released by EBONY, Goldie Taylor examines the relationship between Bill Cosby, his most beloved character and the broken hearts of the Black Family. Since the release of the cover on Thursday afternoon, the magazine has been faced with their fair share of compliments and censures. While some praised it for “going there,” others accused the magazine of having an “agenda” to take the show down, along with Bill Cosby.
I think the #CosbyvsCliff story has to be told. Ebony isn't trying to bury him, it's a conversation that needs to be had. For us, by us.
— Kacie Marie (@writersblockz) October 16, 2015
Cosby defenders have been proving the actual point of the cover since it dropped. People have grown up with the Huxtable’s in their household and they love the show so much they have an (unhealthy) attachment to the show and the characters, some have even looked at Cliff Huxtable as their father, but when it’s all said and done, it is a fictional show, with fictional characters and Cliff is not your father, Denise is not your sister and Clair is not your mother.
I don't support the slander of a Black man. Im not sipping the "lets hate Bill Cosby" kool-aid. And I don't support Ebony's cover. Period.
— KiYoncé (@peaceloveKia) October 16, 2015
Now what comes into play is why “Cliff” and the Cosby family on the cover and not just an image of Bill? That’s fairly simple, the sole reason why so many people are pulling out their freshly pressed capes for Bill is not because his role on the 1976 show “Cos,” or because of his role on “I Spy,” it is because of “The Cosby Show.” The sshow that was a staple on NBC and in many Black households from 1984-1992. To many, Black fatherhood is represented by Bill/Cliff, pudding pops, Coogi sweaters and funny dancing. In branding the show, Cosby has made sure to make his name synonymous with Cliff Huxtable, I mean, the show is named The Cosby Show -not The Huxtable Show. Cosby is also a man that has publicly ridiculed and condemned an entire generation multiple times, with no remorse.
Since the release of the cover some people want to start a boycott of the magazine and few have even decided to cancel their subscription. To threaten boycott because EBONY is creating thought-provoking material based on a taboo subject is ridiculous. To claim that EBONY is tarnishing Cosby’s legacy is also ridiculous, he did that on his own with no one’s help. Brava to EBONY for starting the conversation about something that has been swept under the rug decade after decade.
Make sure you pick up a copy when it hits newsstands, or find me for a copy, I’ve already committed to buying eight of them.