By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Cosby’s fall from America’s favorite TV Dad persists as he continues to lose prestigious honors he once earned during his 50-year career following his recent conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting a Temple University employee in 2004.
For the first time in the history of the organization, the Board for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts voted May 7 to withdraw the Honors and Mark Twain Prize for American Humor awards, which Cosby received in 1998 and 2009, respectively.
For the first time in the history of the organization, the Board for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts voted May 7 to withdraw the Honors and Mark Twain Prize for American Humor awards, which Bill Cosby received in 1998 and 2009, respectively. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
“The Honors and Mark Twain Prize are given to artists who, through their lifetime of work, have left an indelible impact on American culture,” the Kennedy Cater said in a statement according to National Public Radio (NPR). “As a result of Mr. Cosby’s recent criminal conviction, the Board concluded that his actions have overshadowed the very career accomplishments these distinctions from the Kennedy Center intend to recognize.”
The Kennedy Center is not the first arts organization to rescind honors from Cosby as The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to expel him and director Roman Polanski from its Board of Governors last week. According to the Academy, the sexual misconduct of Cosby and Polanski go against its standards of conduct.
“In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity,” according to the standards of conduct for members written on the Academy’s website.
After a student-led effort started in 2014 to rescind his honorary degree from Yale University, the institution decided finally decided to revoke it after his conviction last week. This was the first time Yale’s board has ever had to revoke a degree. Dozens of schools have revoked honors given to Cosby over the years after allegations that he sexually assaulted more than 50 women surfaced.
“The decision is based on a court record providing clear and convincing evidence of conduct that violates fundamental standards of decency shared by all members of the Yale community,” the university said in a statement.
Cosby was found guilty on charges of that rooted from a 2004 sexual assault in the actor’s Pennsylvania home. The 80-year-old actor, who insists he is innocent and vowed to appeal his conviction, could face up to 30 years in prison.