Over the weekend, entertainment site TheWrap ran a guest column from Richard Stellar titled “The Rape of Bill Cosby.” Yes, you can imagine how well that went down, and TheWrap editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman apologized yesterday for the piece and has since changed the post’s title to “In Defense of Bill Cosby.”
Here’s how Stellar’s post begins:
“Bill Cosby raped me.
Now that I have your attention…”
Yeah, you can see now why this might have been a bit controversial.
He doesn’t completely discard the claims of over a dozen women who have come forward, but Stellar writes, “Once those women realized the violation that they endured at the hands of Cosby, then they should have reported it then — not a generation later.”
There was also this questionable paragraph about the women coming forward:
If the statute of limitations was as long as the 15 minutes of fame that these lost souls are trying to recapture, then our prisons would be as vacant as the Holiday Inn in Acapulco (you probably have no idea what that means because you’re not used to real news). Thankfully, the statute of limitations was written to avoid exactly what this blog is about. There is no legitimacy to justice if there is no real evidence, and evidence has a way of vanishing as memories dim with the marching of time. A DNA swab on most of Cosby’s detractors if done today would most likely come up exceedingly dry.
Stellar’s post has since been updated with apologetic comments about his “mean” tone, and said he was wrong in how he framed the claims of these women.
Waxman, meanwhile, posted a letter from the editor apologizing to anyone who was offended by the post. That being said, she did defend featuring it in the first place:
What would be the point of only publishing points of view with which we agree? Allowing for dissenting views is essential to the exercise of free speech. The Cosby case strikes a nerve, partly because it is so at odds with the comedian’s longtime public image, and because the alleged behavior so … well, sick.
The fierceness with which Stellar’s views are attacked truly gives me pause (i.e. any questioning of an accusation makes him pro-rape?), and makes me wonder what we are losing in our society as polarized opinions retreat to their own echo chambers.
You can read Stellar’s post and subsequent apology here.
[image via screengrab]
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