Three decades after its premiere, The Cosby Show has been cast in an unfortunate shadow after allegations that its creator and star Bill Cosby has sexually assaulted around 40-50 women. In its November issue, Ebony tackles the uncomfortable question: Have Cosby's actions ruined the show's legacy?
The cover of the latest issue features The Cosby Show's familiar smiling Huxtable family — but with a twist. The entire "family portrait" is depicted behind shattered glass, with the center of the break radiating outwards from patriarch Cliff (Cosby).
The cover is drawing mixed reactions from fans. "This cover breaks my heart," one reader wrote on the magazine's Facebook page. "Ignorant cover. Shame on you!!!!!! Huxtables are fictional..." wrote another.
In contrast, another reader tweeted praise that the cover "went where it needed to go. This cover is instantly iconic."
"We really don't have enough time on this show to really talk about how I feel about that," Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played son Theo Huxtable, said, referring to the cover on The View, where co-host and and Warner's former cast member Raven-Symone also weighed in. "Let's not forget that The Cosby Show was a sitcom and not a reality show," she added. "Let's just remember that this was a sitcom, and we had writers and things of that nature."
"That's the show that we're all very proud to have been on," Warner said.
In a statement to E! News, Ebony said,"This is our annual Family Issue, and we decided, after much deliberation, to go with a focus on what we felt was an urgent and provocative conversation happening within the Black community," "It wasn't just about making a statement; the cover is also asking questions. Can we separate the man with 50 or more allegations of sexual assault and related crimes against him from the fictional, heroic father? Should we?"
More than 50 women have come forward, accusing Cosby of drugging, assaulting and/or raping them. He has yet to face charges for the claims.
What do you think of Ebony's cover? Has The Cosby Show been ruined for you, or should the artist be separated from the art?
Video: 27 of Bill Cosby's accusers share emotional testimonies: 'This isn't OK'