Bill Cosby & Stephen Collins: Rape, Pedophilia, and the Sanctimonious TV Dad

Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show, and Stephen Collins as Reverend Eric Camden from 7th Heaven


I’ve been monitoring the ousting of Bill Cosby since allegations of him drugging and raping women began making headlines in 2014. I’ve refrained from speaking on the topic, but after hearing the statements Cosby’s daughters, Erinn and Ensa, released exclusively to the Breakfast Club, and reading the comments left by those who listened to this video, I decided to voice my thoughts on the subject here.

Cries of Racism and the NBC Conspiracy Theory

There are various theories floating around as to why the allegations against Cosby surfaced so many years after the assaults are alleged to have occurred. One theory is that Cosby was on the verge of purchasing the television network NBC. Another theory is that Cosby’s accusers are seeking monetary compensation and attention. This theory may certainly apply to Chloe Goins, a woman who accused Cosby of drugging and raping her at the Playboy mansion, then released a rap song about the alleged assault. Her actions were in extremely poor taste, and only served to undermine her claims and those of Cosby’s other accusers. Another theory for Cosby’s spurning is racism, and it isn’t just Ensa and Erinn Cosby who believe their father’s ostracization to be the result of it. There are many people who believe Cosby and his legacy are under attack because he’s a rich black man. However, white people were always huge fans of Cosby, just as he has always been of them. His career and finances benefited for decades partly because he appealed to black and white audiences. Now that he’s being shunned, due to allegations of drugging and raping nearly 60 women, he and his supporters believe his downfall is due to racism? In my opinion, the NBC and racism angles are ludicrous.

“Nice” People Commit Monstrous Acts Too


It seems Ensa and Erinn Cosby can’t wrap their minds around even the possibility of their father committing these egregious acts against women. I understand, he’s their father. They know him as a faithful husband, doting father and grandfather, a philanthropist, and a comedic legend. Cosby may very well be all of those things, but that doesn’t mean he can’t also be guilty of the crimes of which he’s been accused. I’ve researched serial killers and serial rapists for many years, and I can assure you Dennis Lynn Rader’s wife and children had no clue what he was up to when they weren’t around. Ted Bundy’s mother,  Louise Bundy, also believed her son was innocent until he confessed his guilt to her prior to his execution. Sexual predators and murderers may be outwardly compassionate to those they interact with frequently, but they have no reservations when it comes to subjecting strangers to their suppressed rage and/or sexual violence.

Around the same time that allegations against Cosby emerged, another TV dad found himself in hot water over his past misdeeds. Stephen Collins, who played Reverend Eric Camden for 11 years on the wholesome and cheesy TV series, 7th Heaven, was exposed as a pedophile. While engaged in a bitter divorce with his former wife, Faye Grant, Collins was secretly recorded by Grant during one of their marriage counseling sessions, during which he admitted to the “inappropriate touching” of a little girl. During an interview with Katie Couric Collins confessed to forcing a 10-year-girl to touch his genitals while they watched television together. He also confessed to exposing himself to two underage girls, but denied that he was a pedophile. Collins not only minimized his role in most-likely destroying these girls’ lives during this interview, but he also refused to acknowledge that he is in fact attracted to prepubescent girls and is a pedophile. According to Collins his sexual abuse took place during the ’70s and early ’80s, but if he hadn’t been blackmailed with evidence of his guilt he never would’ve admitted to sexually abusing those little girls. Following Collins’ interview with Couric several network’s ceased airing reruns of 7th Heaven, he was written out of the TV series Scandal, and fired from Seth MacFarlane’s Ted. When co-star Catherine Hicks, who played Collins’ wife on 7th Heaven was asked about the possibility of a 7th Heaven reunion the actress responded: “You know, I…I don’t know. I mean we’d have to open with Stephen’s coffin.” In other words, the only way she’d consider doing a 7th Heaven reunion show was without Stephen Collins as her co-star. Collins has not been cast in a film or television series since his sexual misconduct was revealed.

I was never a fan of shows like The Cosby Show, 7th Heaven, Step by Step, Full House, Family Matters, etc. As a child I felt those shows were corny, and depicted unrealistic familial relationships. Characters on these shows lived in nice multi-level homes where electricity was always available, and they never went hungry, so I couldn’t relate to Rudy Huxtable’s or D.J. Tanner’s problems because as far as I was concerned they didn’t have any. Perhaps my detachment from these shows is what allows me to see men like Bill Cosby and Stephen Collins as real people, instead of as Dr. Cliff Huxtable and Reverend Eric Camden. Make no mistake, actors are not the characters they portray.

Cosby and His Accusers Deserve Their Day in Court

Damon Wayans, an actor and comedian whose work I love, made some of the most disgusting comments on Cosby’s accusers that I’ve ever heard. He disregarded Cosby’s accusers because they didn’t come forward about the alleged assaults when they occurred, and because he thought the women were unattractive, referring to them as “unrapeable.” As a rape survivor, I would say to anyone who doubts accusations of rape because they weren’t reported immediately after the assault:

Unless you’ve experienced what it’s like to be sexually violated you will never know how hard it is to tell your story, or how difficult it is to relive that moment in time. You have no clue how distressing it is to open up about that violation, not knowing if your account will be believed, or if you’ll be blamed for your own rape.

Cosby deserves to have a fair trial, and if he committed the crimes these women have alleged he should go to prison regardless of how long ago the assaults were perpetrated. If some of these women are lying about being raped and drugged they should go to prison, because false rape accusations not only ruin lives, they make it harder for real victims of rape to come forward. The saddest part about this is that if Cosby is guilty his victims won’t get justice, because we still have a statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault. It’s senseless that our justice system allows sexual predators to not be tried for their crimes simply because they committed them too long ago. Cosby’s future and legacy will now be in the hands of a jury.