On Tuesday night, Disney confirmed that a bronze bust of Bill Cosby at their Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida was in the process of being removed. On Wednesday, a Television Academy spokesperson confirmed to VICE that an identical bust, formerly visible on the grounds of the Television Academy headquarters in Los Angeles, will be removed as well.
This comes just after the announcement that Bill Cosby himself is under investigation by the LAPD for one alleged sexual assault. According to a tally by Entertainment Tonight, 39 women have informally accused the 77-year-old comedian of sexually assaulting them or attempting to do so.
The doomed Cosby bust in Los Angeles is part of the Hall of Fame at the Academy Plaza, an outdoor art display in front of the complex owned by the organization responsible for the Emmy Awards. The old display formerly included likenesses of many of the TV stars of yesteryear. Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Walt Disney, and Mary Tyler Moore were all there alongside Cosby.
The plaza, located in North Hollywood's Arts District, is part of the tourist-friendly section of the Academy's base of operations. Visitors would often pass the Cosby statue on their way to a movie theater on site, where Academy screenings are held.
At the moment, though, the plaza is a construction site, so no one can access Coz's mug in order to be bothered by it. But there is a plan to put some of the other old-timey stars back in their former places of honor when the new facility is unveiled. "We are still finalizing plans for which busts are going to be put back," an Academy spokesperson told us.
Cosby's removal is certain, however. "We have no plans to display Mr. Cosby's bust within the Hall of Fame Garden, or elsewhere, at the new Television Academy Media Center," the representative said.
The plinths that used to hold up the busts are being stored near the entrance to the Academy building. One of them had its name placard removed, although the Academy did not confirm that the blank was Cosby's former plinth.
It's not just statues; two dimensional renderings of Cosby appear to be in danger as well. Ben's Chili Bowl, a chain of eateries that ordinarily feature a mural of Cosby on one of the outdoor walls at every location, opened a new flagship restaurant in Washington DC on Wednesday, and it had no images of Cosby at all, according to The Washington Post.
VICE also reached out to SPARC, the organization that manages "Black Seeds," a Los Angeles mural that features an image of Cosby alongside dozens of figures from African-American history. They would not comment on whether or not Cosby's image would remain in place.
Jamie Lee Curtis Taete contributed reporting to this piece.
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