The official Instagram account of actor Bill Cosby shared a questionable Father’s Day post on Sunday, which sparked a lot of controversy over its content.
At the time of this writing, Cosby is serving a sentence in jail in connection with sexual assault charges, including drugging and molesting women. The 81-year-old actor was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison in connection with the charges.
What was in the post?
Dubbing Cosby as “America’s Dad,” the post featured a video of old footage of the disgraced actor talking about black families breaking up.
In the video, a much younger Cosby can heard heard saying, “America invented the cruelest slavery in the history of the world because it broke up black families. After slavery was over, America kept breaking up the black man’s family and that’s some awful history to teach.”
The clip was taken from a 1968 CBS black history month special.
The post was captioned, “Hey, Hey, Hey…It’s America’s Dad…I know it’s late, but to all of the Dads… It’s an honor to be called a Father, so let’s make today a renewed oath to fulfilling our purpose — strengthening our families and communities.”
After the post stirred up controversy and outrage — and even support for the actor, in some cases — Cosby’s spokesperson issued a statement clarifying the intent behind the post.
Andrew Wyatt told USA Today that Cosby requested the Father’s Day message be uploaded to the account.
“Mr. Cosby’s [message] consisted of telling these men who have been incarcerated for many years, but are up for parole soon … to … take the word ‘disadvantage’ and remove the ‘dis,’ and start focusing on the advantage,” Wyatt explained. “That advantage is to be better fathers and productive citizens.”
The post was also shared to Cosby’s official Twitter account, where it sparked even more discussion.