Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Smithsonian to acknowledge Bill Cosby allegations at new museum

01 April 2016, 15:51


Washington - The Smithsonian now plans to acknowledge the sexual-assault allegations against Bill Cosby at its new African-American history museum on the National Mall, which will display two items related to Cosby's career in television and standup comedy.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens on 24 September, will include the cover of a Cosby comedy album and a comic book from his pioneering TV drama I Spy as part of its exhibit on black entertainers and artists. Initially, the museum planned to include historical facts about the items without mentioning the allegations, drawing criticism from some Cosby accusers.

The museum's founding director, Lonnie Bunch, said in a statement on Thursday that the display would address Cosby's alleged behaviour, although he did not specify exactly how.

"Like all of history, our interpretation of Bill Cosby is a work in progress, something that will continue to evolve as new evidence and insights come to the fore," Bunch said. "Visitors will leave the exhibition knowing more about Mr Cosby's impact on American entertainment, while recognising that his legacy has been severely damaged by the recent accusations."

Through a spokesperson, Bunch declined to comment further.

Dozens of women have accused Cosby, 78, of sexual abuse. Cosby was charged last year with drugging and sexually assaulting a former Temple University worker at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004, a case that is on hold amid an appeal. He also faces several civil lawsuits.

The Smithsonian Institution also has been criticised for its recent exhibit of Cosby's personal art collection at a different museum. The exhibit was funded almost exclusively by Cosby and his wife, Camille, in the form of a $716 000 gift, which Smithsonian officials did not disclose until they were specifically asked about it by The Associated Press. The museum's director, who is close with the Cosbys, said last year that she would not have moved forward with the exhibit had she known about the allegations.

In this photo taken June 9, 2015, construction continues on The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, scheduled to open in 2016. (AP)

Cosby had no part in funding the new museum, and the two items that will be displayed were purchased on eBay, Linda St Thomas, a Smithsonian spokesperson, said earlier this week. The decision to include them was made by the curator of the entertainment exhibit, Katy Kendrick, who said it was important to acknowledge Cosby's contributions to American popular culture. He was the first black actor to star in a network TV drama, and his comedy albums were enormously popular, winning six consecutive Grammy Awards.

"This is not an exhibition that 'honours or celebrates' Bill Cosby but one that acknowledges his role, among many others, in American entertainment," Bunch said in his statement. "Some people feel that the Smithsonian should eliminate all mention of Bill Cosby as a result of recent revelations. We understand but respectfully disagree."

- AP


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...