Phylicia Rashad Apologizes to Howard University Students for Bill Cosby Tweet, Will Undergo Training
Howard University’s new dean of the College of Fine Arts, Phylicia Rashad, apologized to students and parents following controversy over her show of support of former co-star Bill Cosby’s release from prison last week.
“I offer my most sincere apology. I have since removed that upsetting tweet,” she wrote in an email to students, adding that she will “participate in trainings” to not only reinforce University protocols but to “become a stronger ally to sexual assault survivors and everyone who has suffered at the hands of an abuser.”
On Wednesday, Rashad tweeted, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturning Cosby’s sexual assault conviction after it was revealed that he struck a deal with a previous prosecutor that he would not be charged criminally if he testified in a civil case.
Shortly following her controversial tweet, Rashad had written that she fully supported sexual assault survivors 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.”
Howard University released a statement on Wednesday that “survivors of sexual assault” will always be a priority for the school and that Rashad’s views do not reflect its policies.
In 2018, Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.