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Malcolm-Jamal Warner Applauds ‘The Cosby Show’s’ Impact on Black Culture

February 23, 2023 | By Kali Girl

According to The Jasmine Brand, Malcolm Jamal Warner, believes “The Cosby Show” changed the sitcom game.

As one of the most iconic sitcoms of its time, “The Cosby Show” remains a topic of conversation even three decades after its finale. In a recent interview, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, one of the show’s stars, spoke on the show’s legacy as a cornerstone of comedic family television.

Warner, who played Theodore Huxtable in the series, said:

“What made it so groundbreaking was its universality.”

“NBC initially saw it as a show about an upper-middle-class Black family. Mr. [Bill] Cosby diligently impressed upon them that the show was about an upper-middle-class family that happened to be Black.’

The actor further explained:

“Prior to The Cosby Show, Black sitcom humor was predicated on being Black, the specificity of the ‘Black’ experience. Though the Huxtables were clearly Black — reflected quite obviously by their dress, the Black art on the walls, the music — the family issues all were universal. And though Cliff [Cosby] was a doctor and Claire [#PhyliciaRashad] was an attorney, the family dynamic was one that practically every family — no matter the ethnicity, socio-economic status or even family makeup — could find something to relate to.”

For some, Bill Cosby’s legal troubles altered the way the sitcom was perceived. In April of 2018, Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault and was eventually sentenced to three to ten years in prison. Nevertheless, he was released in June of 2021 following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the conviction, citing violations of Cosby’s due process rights.

The “Cosby Show” aired for eight seasons on NBC from 1984 to 1992. The sitcom made a lasting impact, earning six Emmy awards during its run.

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