The Carmichael Show's Bill Cosby Debate: Does 'Talent Trump Morals'?

The Carmichael Show on Sunday dedicated an entire episode to debating the merit of Bill Cosby‘s talent as an as actor and comedian amid recent charges of aggravated indecent assault.

In the aptly titled “Fallen Heroes,” Jerrod returned home with four tickets to take Maxine and his parents to a nearby Cosby performance. While Maxine quipped that “the ironic part is you’d have to knock me unconscious to see him,” Jerrod argued that it might be the comedian’s farewell tour (“who knows how long he’ll be alive… or free!”), and that they should go while they still had the chance.

For Jerrod, the polarizing figure was more than just an alleged predator sweeping headlines. Growing up, he said, The Cosby Show brought his family together and taught him that people who looked like him could grow up to become successful college graduates. Whether or not his childhood idol was a monster was insignificant until a court of law could officially declare his guilt. Joe defended his son’s argument, insisting that it wasn’t for the Internet to decide whether the comic should be imprisoned. Bobby, on the other hand, was simply confused about whether it was OK to continue listening to Chris Brown (or any singer with the last name Brown for that matter — i.e. James, Bobby, etc).

In Jerrod’s eyes, Maxine, a self-proclaimed fan of Michael Jackson and Woody Allen, was a hypocrite for disavowing Cosby but not the late Grammy winner or acclaimed film director, each of whom have been accused of molesting children but whose art continues to be celebrated. He used this example to support his declaration that “talent trumps morals” in his defense of Cosby, and ultimately wound up attending the comedian’s performance on his own.

Upon his return, Jerrod admitted to feeling uncomfortable at the show, unsure of when to laugh or if it was at all appropriate to be there. One last attempt to blame Maxine for ruining his role model caused her to respond with the most rational statement of the night: “It’s not your fault or mine, it’s his.” The family then decided to sit down and watch one last episode of The Cosby Show together before quitting it cold turkey, reminiscing about their favorite storylines, but not the tarnished comedian.

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