The People Pro® Blog

Bill Cosby Picture is Hard on the Stomach

By Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW

Traveling from General Mitchell Field on a business trip, I stopped for breakfast at Famous Famiglia, which is part of a national franchise. As I paid for my eggs and toast, I noticed signed pictures of Sandra Bullock and Arnold Schwarzenegger on the wall behind the cash register. Then, my eyes came to rest on a smiling picture of Bill Cosby. I stood there for a moment staring at that picture and felt sick to my stomach.

Anyone growing up in the ‘50s knew Bill Cosby, listened to his records and mimicked his comedy routines. Many, including myself, considered him a hero. He broke color barriers on TV, presented as a dedicated family man, and promoted himself as a leader for the black culture.

Now almost 40 women have come forward with identical stories of being drugged and raped by Cosby. 

The Bill Cosby Scandal

While the statute of limitations has expired for most of the cases, there is the potential of charges in CA. One victim is also suing Cosby civilly for slander and defamation.

Regardless of what you believe about the merits of the allegations against him, it is impossible to believe he is the icon that he once was. In fact, he may be the most prolific serial rapist of the last 100 years and having his picture on the wall was offensive. I decided I had to say something.

I went on the Famous Famiglia website and contacted Giorgio Kolaj, who is co-founder. In my email to him, I respectfully requested that Bill Cosby’s picture be removed. Here is the answer I received:

Dear Ms. Bartlein,

            First I wish to apologize to you for the offense you had with the photo

            image of Bill Cosby. I want you to know that we have contacted the

            franchisee operator to remove the image at once.

            Thank you for the email and continued safe travels to you.

           Giorgio

In subsequent e-mails, he let me know that he had a daughter and he could completely understand the issue. What a wonderful response! The whole incident reminds me that one person really can make a difference by voicing an opinion. I feel it is essential that we support these women publicly.

As Jay Leno said of the Cosby controversy. "You to go Saudi Arabia and you need two women to testify against a man. Here you need 25."

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