Outraged Howard University students and alumni are calling for actress Phylicia Rashad to be fired as dean of its College of Fine Arts in the wake of her enthusiastic support of Bill Cosby’s release from prison.
The hashtag #ByePhylicia — a play on “Bye Felicia” — started trending this week after the actress celebrated her former “Cosby Show” co-star’s release with a jubilant, “FINALLY!!!!”
“A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” the actress tweeted along with a photo of Cosby, whose sex assault conviction was overturned Wednesday on a legal technicality.
Howard University has so far now announced any planned action against its incoming celebrity dean, merely noting that Rashad’s “tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault.”
But current and former students were among a flood of complaints posted online, with many calling on the private school in Washington, DC, to cut ties with her.
“I think it’s good that Phylicia Rashad spoke up and showed us she’s not qualified to be the Dean of the College of Fine Arts,” alumni Andrew Addison tweeted.
“It’s really on Howard to do the right thing and rectify the situation.”
Another alumnus, Nylah Burton shared Rashad’s tweet, writing sarcastically, “So proud to be from Howard University! Look at our role models! Defending serial rapists, warms the heart, it really does.”
She added later, “SO, since the Dean of College of Fine Arts wants to tell all of her students that sexual assault doesn’t matter to her.”
Others were shocked at the actress’ turn giving the goodness of her TV character on “The Cosby Show.”
“I don’t wanna live in a world where you can’t even trust Clair Huxtable,” a tweeter called Mister Race Bannon wrote.