Bill Cosby came to Phylicia Rashad’s defense after the actress faced criticism from Howard University for her tweet supporting his release from prison. In a statement issued on Sunday (July 4), the newly freed comedian responded to the backlash.
“Howard University you must support one[‘]s Freedom of Speech (Ms. Rashad), which is taught or suppose[d] to be taught everyday at that renowned law school, which resides on your campus,” Cosby said in the statement issued by his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt.
Cosby also echoed the support Rashad received from Stephanie Mills. On social media. Mills wrote, “I love you [Phylicia Rashad]. If it’s true that Howard University wants to terminate her position because they feel her comments about Mr. Cosby were insensitive, then they should give back the millions of dollars that he donated to the university.”
Cosby retweeted the message, adding, “Thank you [Stephanie Mills] your voice has always been powerful!”
Although Rashad received support from Mills and Cosby, the Tony Award-winning actress issued an apology for her controversial tweet on Saturday (July 3). Rashad addressed the parents and students of Howard University, where she will serve as dean of the school’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.
“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,” she wrote.
“I am sorry. I intend to earn your trust and your forgiveness,” she continued. “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.”
Rashad has since deleted her initial supportive message about Cosby’s release from prison, which read: “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”