More Culture:

September 06, 2015

Damon Wayans calls Cosby sexual assault allegations a 'money hustle'

Comedian provokes backlash after comments during radio interview

Controversy Bill Cosby
090615_Wayans The Breakfast Club/YouTube

Actor Damon Wayans draws backlash after defending Bill Cosby in radio interview on 105.1's 'The Breakfast Club.'

Actor Damon Wayans stoked a fresh round of controversy over the sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby on Friday, calling them a "money hustle" and suggesting that some of the more than 40 women who have accused the comedian are "unrapeable.

The remarks came in the context of an interview on Power 105.1's 'The Breakfast Club,' during which Wayans, whose battle with diabetes has kept him from performing stand-up, argued that there is a double standard applied to similar allegations against public figures such as Woody Allen and Stephen Collins.

Wayans was asked specifically what advice he would give to Bill Cosby, to which he replied, "If I was him, I would divorce my wife, wink-wink, give her all my money, and then I would go do a deposition. I would light one of them three-hour cigars. I'd have me some wine and maybe a Quaalude, and I would just go off, because I don't believe that he was raping."

The comedian added that he believed Cosby, 77, was in relationships with all of them until he decided, with age, that he couldn't maintain them anymore.

"Listen, how big is his penis that it gives you amnesia for 40 years?" Wayans said. "And some of them, really, is unrapeable."

Cosby has consistently denied the allegations and has never been charged for a crime related to any of the accusations. In July, however, unsealed court documents revealed disturbing testimony from the civil case brought against Cosby by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2005.

At that time, Cosby admitted that in the 1970s he obtained quaaludes with the intent of giving the sedatives to young women in order to have sex with them. The case was ultimately settled for an undisclosed amount of money in 2006.

At one point in the radio exchange, Wayans says that Cosby's biggest mistake was criticizing young black people. "He lost us," Wayans said, "and so we're not supporting him. And [the women] see that opening, and so now, you know what? Attack him, kill him."

Wayans clarified that he does not necessarily believe all of the allegations against Cosby are false. "My heart goes out to them," Wayans said. "For anybody who was raped by Bill Cosby, I'm sorry, and I hope you get justice."

The interview provoked a swift and fierce backlash on social media.

In response to the harsh reaction, Wayans posted a series of tweets in his defense, including a link to the section of the video in which he states he hopes women victimized by Cosby get justice. 

What Wayans fails to acknowledge, however, is that in the very next breath he insinuates that the "other b******" got what they deserved by accepting drugs from a man who was not a doctor. 

While Wayans' point seems to be that the justice system is predicated on the dictum "innocent until proven guilty," his comments, whether spoken in jest or not, broadcast an attitude that fuels suspicion about the motives of rape victims and undermines efforts to prevent their stigmatization.