Pretty Much Pop #119: Disgraced Artists Like Cosby

Comedian Genevieve Joy, philosopher/NY Times entertainment writer Lawrence Ware, and novelist Sarahlyn Bruck join your host Mark to discuss how we deal with entertainers like R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, et al. We all watched W. Kamau Bell’s Showtime documentary We Need to Talk About Cosby, so most of our discussion is around that.

None of us seem able to separate the art from the artist, but this varies by art form, how much of the person’s personality and values went into the art, and the specifics of the alleged crimes or bad behavior. Cosby presents such a dramatic, unambiguous case because he was so universally beloved, and vitally important to the black community, yet his crimes were so numerous, heinous, well documented, and thoroughly undermine the image that he sought to convey. Does our disillusionment with him perhaps reflect not just on rape culture but the importance we put on celebrity itself that made Cosby for a long time “too big to fail”?

It’s fine if you haven’t seen the documentary. You can experience Bell talking about it on WTF and in Slate. For in-depth info on the charges against Bill Cosby, try the Chasing Cosby podcast.

Follow us @CAtFightJOy, @law_writes, @sarahlynbruck, and @MarkLinsenmayer.

The supporter version of this episode includes our bonus Aftertalk featuring all of our guests. Get it at, or now you can sign up directly via Apple Podcasts for a subscription for ad-free and bonus material for three of Mark’s podcasts together on the Mark Lintertainment Podcasts Channel.

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Here’s that photo of Genevieve’s harrowing experience on Cosby’s lap. Grody.

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