Phylicia Rashad is apologizing to Howard University students and their parents for her controversial tweet that celebrated Bill Cosby’s release from prison
Amid ongoing backlash, the 73-year-old actress (and incoming dean of HBCU’s Fine Arts College) sent a formal letter on Friday, apologizing for her actions and promising to participate in trainings. She also said she’s deleted her initial tweet about Cosby, which read, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”
“This week, I tweeted a statement that caused so much hurt in so many people — both broadly and inside the Howard community. I offer my most sincere apology. I have since removed that upsetting tweet,” Rashad wrote in the letter. “My remarks were in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault. I vehemently oppose sexual violence, find no excuse for such behavior, and I know that Howard University has a zero-tolerance policy toward interpersonal violence.”
“Over the next few weeks, I plan to engage in active listening and participate in trainings to not only reinforce University protocol and conduct, but also to learn how I can become a stronger ally to sexual assault survivors and everyone who has suffered at the hands of an abuser,” her letter continued. “Thank you for voicing your concerns, for speaking your truth and for holding leaders accountable for our actions and words.”
Phylicia Rashad has sent an apology letter to Howard University students over her Bill Cosby tweet:
She says she plans to “participate in trainings” to become a stronger ally to survivors pic.twitter.com/sF7fl7m8FW
As ET previously reported, Rashad — who played Cosby’s wife, Clair Huxtable, on The Cosby Show — addressed her “insensitive” tweet on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s 2018 conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand.
“I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth,” she tweeted. “Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.”
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.
Earlier this week, Howard University also released a statement of their own via social media.
“While Dean Rashad has acknowledged in her follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, her initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault,” the statement read. “We will continue to advocate for survivors fully and support their right to be heard. Howard will stand with survivors and challenge systems that would deny them justice. We have full confidence that our faculty and school leadership will live up to this sacred commitment.”
Hear more in the video below.
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