Phylicia Rashad Apologizes To Howard U. Students For Defending Bill Cosby

Phylicia Rashad offered an apology to Howard University students and parents on Friday after facing backlash for defending Bill Cosby's prison release.

"My remarks were in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault," she said. "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."

"The Cosby Show" actress and alum of Howard University was appointed as the dean of the school's reestablished College of Fine Arts in May, and Fox News reports that she found herself at the center of a social media storm on Wednesday when she celebrated Cosby's sex assault conviction being overturned by Pennsylvania's highest court.

Rashad's controversial tweet on Wednesday read: ""FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!" 

OutKick's Bobby Burack previously reported that Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned Cosby’s sex assault conviction Wednesday and in their 79-page opinion, the judges wrote that a “non-prosecution agreement” struck with a previous prosecutor meant that he should not have been charged in the case.

Howard University's announcement of her appointment in May states that her position as dean of the College of Fine Arts would become effective on July 1, 2021, Fox News reports.

After Rashad posted her controversial tweet on Wednesday, the university released a statement in support of sexual assault survivors. 

"Survivors of sexual assault will always be our first priority," the university said in the statement. "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."

"Personal positions of University leadership do not reflect Howard University’s policies," the statement reads. "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."

Rashad played Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" from 1984 through 1992, working alongside Cosby, who played Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the NBC program, Fox News reports.

Cosby could bring in anywhere from $10-15k — and maybe up to $20k — for speaking engagements, according to TMZ.

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