Roommates, the conversation of Bill Cosby’s unexpected release is still hot on the internet! Some folks have chosen to celebrate the actor’s second chance at freedom, while others have chastised the criminal justice system for failing survivors of sexual assault. Recently, actress Phylicia Rashad took to her Instagram to join those cheering on the release calling it “a miscarriage of justice corrected.” After receiving backlash, Phylicia clarified that she supports survivors of sexual assault coming forward. Now, Howard University has stepped up to clear any affiliations with her comments.
As previously reported, Phylicia was appointed in May as dean of Howard’s newly reestablished College of Fine Arts. At the time, she said serving as dean at her alma mater felt like “a privilege.” Well, Phylicia began what was previously announced as her start date with Howard publicly distancing themselves from her personal views. In an Instagram post, the historically Black institution called Phylicia’s initial post insensitive.
“Survivors of sexual assault will always be our priority,” the statement said. “While Dean Rashad has acknowledged in her follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, her initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards victims of sexual assault.”
The mentioned follow-up post by Phylicia seemingly intends to center victims in the conversation. She stated that her intentions weren’t to be “insensitive to [the victims’] truth.”
“Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects,” Phylicia wrote. “My heartfelt wish is for healing.”
Howard also made it clear in their statement that personal positions of their leadership staff “do not reflect Howard University’s policies.”
“We will continue to advocate for survivors fully and support their right to be heard,” the statement said. “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.”
See the full statement below:
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