'Cosby Show' Star: "You Can't Take Back" Sitcom's Legacy
The NBC series is "continuing to have such a positive impact" on kids, said Keshia Knight Pulliam.
A Cosby Show star is defending the show amid the sexual assault allegations surrounding Bill Cosby.
Keshia Knight Pulliam spoke to The Grio about the impact of the scandal on the seminal NBC sitcom's legacy, in which Cosby starred as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable. Pulliam said she believes that the show's fans are able to compartmentalize their memories of watching the series and their current opinions of Cosby.
"I can say that, based upon the people that continuously approach me and talk about how it’s profoundly impacted their lives, I don’t feel you can take that back," said Pulliam, who made headlines earlier this year when she was given the boot from NBC's Celebrity Apprentice after declining to call Cosby to ask him for money. "You can't take back the impact that it's had on generations of kids, and it's continuing to have such a positive impact on them."
"So I feel like the place that it has in people's hearts is such a nostalgic part of childhood and beyond, it’s going to be difficult to take back those memories," the 36-year-old actress continued.
Pulliam — who played the Huxtables' youngest child, Rudy, throughout The Cosby Show's eight-season run — stood by the comments she made about Cosby on Today in January, when she said people are "innocent until proven guilty" and that she wasn't there when any of the alleged incidents took place.
"My comment doesn’t really change, because, still, regardless of how many ... that’s just not the man I know," Pulliam told The Grio. "That's not who I experienced. I never had that interaction with him, so I can't speak to it."
Last month, The Hollywood Reporter revealed the list of the top 100 TV series of all time as chosen by members of the Hollywood industry, and Cosby Show did not make the list.
Pulliam is not the first Cosby Show castmember to weigh in on the scandal. Phylicia Rashad (Clair Huxtable) has defended Cosby, referring to the allegations as "declaration in the media of guilt without proof," while Joseph C. Phillips (Martin Kendall) posted a blog entry earlier this year asserting that Cosby appears to be guilty of the claims.
A rep for Pulliam did not immediately respond to a request for comment.