Rolling Out

Keshia Knight Pulliam discusses the legacy of ‘The Cosby Show’

Some still love it. Some can’t watch now. Keshia Knight-Pulliam weighs in on the issue
Keshia Knight Pulliam during rolling out interview (Photo credit: Joy Nealey for rolling out)

Since its debut in 1984, “The Cosby Show” has long been lauded as one of, if not, the most important Black sitcoms ever.

Unfortunately, the series has been tainted in the eyes of many fans since the numerous cases and allegations of rape and sexual assault have been levied against show creator and star Bill Cosby over the last few years.

Keshia Knight-Pulliam, who played youngest child, Rudy Huxtable, tells People magazine that she thinks the show should still be held in high regard despite the misdeeds of one cast member.

“You can’t take away the work that we all collectively did,” she says “[The show] was bigger than one person.”

For eight seasons, “The Cosby Show” ran on NBC and was celebrated for breaking the mold for Black sitcoms and dispelling racial stereotypes. Until then television had yet to see an upper-middle-class Black family portrayed in such a manner. Despite it all, Knight-Pulliam insists she is still proud of her work on the show.

“A lot of actors wait their entire lifetime for an opportunity like that,” she said. “I’m grateful I have been a part of a piece of work that has really transcended generations and that’s still teaching lessons that are relevant today.”

In February, People spoke with her co-star and television big brother Malcolm-Jamal Warner on the subject and he shared similar sentiments.

“Regardless of how some people may feel about the show now,” Warner told People at the time, “I’m still proud of the legacy and having been a part of such an iconic show that had such a profound impact on — first and foremost, Black culture — but also American culture.”

Though “The Cosby Show” will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year, Knight-Pulliam tells People “There’s nothing that we’re working on or discussing at this point” in regards to a commemorative event or broadcast.

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