A new Smithsonian museum faced controversy when it released it’s plans to include Bill Cosby memorabilia. It was further criticized when the museum said they won’t be mentioning the sexual assault allegations made against Cosby. The National Museum of African American History and Culture has since reversed that decision saying it will now include the sexual assault allegations in its exhibit.
The Cosby memorabilia will be apart of the “Taking the Stage” exhibit covering African American entertainers in theater, film, and TV. Many of Cosby’s accusers came at the museum for including Cosby’s memorabilia in general, while others said it’s being biased for not mentioning the sexual assault allegations. Patricia Leary Steuer, one of the women to accuse Cosby, told the New York Times:
“If they just speak about the contributions, there will be this enormous presence that is not talked about.”
Founding director Lonnie Bunch released a statement about the decision to include the allegations:
“This museum seeks to tell, in the words of the eminent historian John Hope Franklin, ‘the unvarnished truth’ that will help our visitors to remember and better understand what has often been erased and forgotten. Like all of history, our interpretation of Bill Cosby is a work in progress, something that will continue to evolve as new evidence and insights come to the fore. Visitors will leave the exhibition knowing more about Mr. Cosby’s impact on American entertainment, while recognizing that his legacy has been severely damaged by the recent accusations.”
Cosby’s legacy may be “severely damaged” ….but what of the women whose lives have been severely damaged? What do you guys think?
The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens in Washington, D.C. in September.