Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Keshia Knight Pulliam Defends ‘Cosby Show’ Legacy, Remains ‘Grateful’ for 80s Sitcom

Keshia Knight Pulliam Defends ‘Cosby Show’ Legacy, Remains ‘Grateful’ for 80s Sitcom

Keshia Knight Pulliam recently opened up about The Cosby Show‘s legacy as it approaches its 40th anniversary. From 1984 to 1992, NBC aired The Cosby Show, featuring the Huxtables, an upper-middle-class African-American family. Bill Cosby played Cliff, the lovable dad and doctor. Knight Pulliam played Cosby’s youngest TV daughter Rudy Huxtable for the show’s entire run.

The sitcom was praised for challenging racial stereotypes in the media. However, its legacy is now marred by numerous sexual assault allegations against Cosby dating back to the 1970s.

In April 2018, Cosby was initially found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Subsequently, he was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison. However, in June 2021, the conviction was overturned.

Keshia Knight Pulliam Explains Why ‘The Cosby Show’ Still Matters

Despite the recent controversy surrounding its namesake star, Keshia Knight Pulliam believes that the iconic show should still be respected. “You can’t take away the work that we all collectively did,” Knight Pulliam told People. “[The show] was bigger than one person.”

“A lot of actors wait their entire lifetime for an opportunity like that,” Knight Pulliam explained. “I’m grateful I have been a part of a piece of work that has really transcended generations and that’s still teaching lessons that are relevant today.”

The Cosby Show star affirms that her five-year-old daughter, Ella Grace, is currently observing and absorbing those very lessons. “Now my daughter is able to enjoy the work that I did,” she said. Knight Pulliam also noted how much Ella Grace resembles her time as Rudy on The Cosby Show. “It’s funny because she looks so much like me,” she said.

Despite the show’s ongoing popularity, there doesn’t appear to be a 40th reunion special in the works… yet. “I don’t know,” Knight Pulliam admits. “There’s nothing that we’re working on or discussing at this point, so I guess we’ll have to see.” Recent sitcom reunions for Friends, The Fresh Prince, and Martin have been very successful, so it’s possibly in the cards.

Other Actors From ‘The Cosby Show’ Have Defended Its Legacy

The actors of The Cosby Show have struggled with reconciling its legacy amidst the accusations against Bill Cosby. In a 2015 interview, Phylicia Rashad, who portrayed Cosby’s TV wife, initially defended him.

“What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy,” she told Hollywood 411 at the time. “And I think it’s orchestrated… And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”