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Smithsonian Museum Stands By Bill Cosby Despite His Admission

Bill Cosby supporters are dropping like flies since his admission he bought Quaaludes with the intent to give them to women for sex. But the former beloved comedian has support when it comes to the Smithsonian.

The prestigious museum is declining to take down Bill and Camille Cosby’s private collection of never-before-exhibited artworks the famous couple donated to the National Museum of African Art’s 50th anniversary exhibition.

Of course, the Smithsonian is catching hell for this decision, but it’s not just because Cosby is an admitted rapist. Mrs. Cosby is on the museum’s board and initiated the loan of the artworks, which is reportedly a conflict of interest.

The museum’s director, former Spelman College president, Johnetta Cole, is close with the Cosbys, who made a $20 million gift to the all-women HBCU while she was president. Cole declined to comment about the museum’s ongoing support of Cosby despite recent reports of his admission.

To fund the exhibit, the Cosbys gave $716,000. The museum was supposed to make the information about their donors public, but the Cosbys’ names were not included on any press materials, which is standard procedure.

The Smithsonian said the information would be made available if someone asked.

“We certainly don’t condone his behavior,” Richard Kurin, the museum’s undersecretary for art, history and culture told The Associated Press. “We’re just as deeply disturbed and disappointed as I think everybody else. But it’s not about Mr. Cosby. This is an art exhibit.”

The exhibit opened in November, when Cosby’s victims made their accusations public.

The circumstances surrounding the Smithsonian’s support of the Cosbys has many layers and taking down their artwork may not be as easy as it seems and could come at a price the museum can’t afford to pay.

If there’s more of a public push to remove the artworks, and it’s likely we can expect that, the world will be paying attention to how the museum responds.

Photo Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for NAACP

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